Loneliness has been identified as a public health issue in Tower Hamlets, a borough in East London. The council’s loneliness task force has been working with the community to identify how it has impacted local residents and what support can be provided. Neighbours in Poplar is one of many organisations rising to the challenge to provide much needed access to food, care and connection, particularly in response to the needs in the neighborhood raised by the pandemic.
Watch this video where Sr Christine Frost, fcJ, founder of Neighbours in Poplar, describes their work, and volunteers Nizam and Sr Ramona, fcJ novice, serve and deliver some of the hot meals.
Over 50 volunteers have been cooking and delivering over 15.000 hot meals. Delivering food has provided opportunities to build relationships and show care and companionship to many neighbours who experience loneliness and isolation.
Neighbours in Poplar came into being in October 1969, when some concerned people gathered together a large number of senior citizens in Pope John House for a Christmas Party. Because this was so successful and a need had obviously been met, volunteers led by Sr Christine, fcJ began to meet regularly, visiting and providing necessary service for people living in the Poplar area of Tower Hamlets, London E14. They received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2019.