TOC Dinner raises £810,000 for The Cares Family!

TOC Dinner raises £810,000 for The Cares Family!

400 City finance leaders came together at The Savoy Hotel in London on Wednesday, raising £810,000 to reduce loneliness and build intergenerational communities across the UK. The money will be donated to The Cares Family, a national group of local charities bringing older and younger people together to reduce loneliness amongst the two loneliest age groups in the UK.

Loneliness has been described as ‘one of the greatest public health challenges of our time. It is an affliction which is particularly prominent amongst older people in their 70s, 80s and 90s, and those in their late teens and early twenties. Even before the pandemic, nine million people in the UK said they were lonely ‘often or always’. And loneliness can lead to strokes, heart attacks, depression, dementia – even polarisation and discrimination.

That’s why The Cares Family, originally founded in 2011, exists – to bring those two groups together to build lasting connection and community through mutually beneficial intergenerational relationships in a rapidly changing world. The charity’s Founder and 10-year Chief Executive, Alex Smith, who in 2018 was selected by Barack and Michelle Obama from 21,000 applicants around the world to be one of 20 inaugural Obama Fellows, said:

“Loneliness is a personal crisis for those who experience it chronically. It destroys our social muscle memory, chips away at our confidence, and causes myriad mental health issues. But what The October Club members understood is that loneliness is also a major public health crisis (with one in 10 GP appointments taken by someone with no other condition than that they’re lonely) and indeed a broader political crisis, as withdrawal from one other increases stereotyping, othering and division on a national scale. We’re so proud that The October Club selected The Cares Family to benefit from the generosity of its own community, built over 34 years. This amazing investment will help us to build on our model and help other communities up and down the country to build intergenerational connection too.”

The Cares Family plans to invest the income into work to help 52,000 people share time, laughter and new experiences that help people build meaningful local connections over the next five years – including through a new ‘Toolkit’ to help 50 communities across the country to build local intergenerational connection.

Funds were raised at the Savoy through a live and silent auction, with lots including an original David Yarrow photograph, as well as from sponsorship from leading investment banks, hedge funds and asset managers.

Chairman of The October Club, Henry Knapman, said:

“In 34 years this special community of City-based professionals has raised over £14 million towards good causes. After the last, extraordinary 18 months, in which we’ve all suffered some of the effects of loneliness and isolation, we couldn’t think of a more appropriate cause than this, nor a more deserving charity than The Cares Family. The charity has been built from the ground up. It has already brought together 25,000 older and younger people. We’re so thrilled that our support will help The Cares Family to connect another 52,000 people to feel happier, more connected to the changing people and places around them, ‘part of something bigger’, over the coming years.”


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