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The Multipliers

The Multiplier

Over the last nine years, we’ve built five charities that tackle disconnection in Manchester, Liverpool and London. But of course we know that disconnection isn’t exclusive to those areas. People everywhere are feeling isolated and estranged – especially during the pandemic. But though it’s true that disconnection is everywhere, so are solutions that will help us thwart it.

The nuances of how to build community in a village in Cumbria are known by the people who call that village home. The details of how disconnection can be dismantled in a town in Glamorgan are known by the people in that town in Glamorgan. Many people have brilliant and simple solutions to our age of isolation – and we want to support them and their solutions to succeed.

That’s why, in partnership with UnLtd, over the next five years we’re investing in 50 people building bridges in their own communities in their own ways to adapt, grow and multiply their initiatives to meet the challenges of our time.

Amid a loneliness pandemic, and increased understanding of and empathy for people experiencing disconnection across the UK, we’re supporting 11 people – from Belfast to Birmingham, Cardiff to Cornwall, London to Liverpool – to create more connected, cohesive communities, with relationships prioritised by all.

We will support these amazing Multipliers to meet the challenges their communities face during the Covid-19 recovery; to share our learning over nearly a decade, and to help those local leaders to work together to help their communities leverage their collective power, and to help power better understand community. Multipliers will receive grants of £10,000 from UnLtd, six months of coaching, training on everything from storytelling to fundraising, and films made about the connections they make.

By working together, we can make a greater impact than we would alone.

We put the word out about this new programme in October 2020 and were inspired by the quality of the 129 applicants: it was heartening to see so many people nurturing so many wonderful communities all across the UK. We’re so proud of our first cohort, what they’ve already achieved, and what we know they’ll achieve together over the coming years.

The 2021 Multipliers are:

Ellie Robinson Carter

Ellie Robinson-Carter

The Photobook Project, Cornwall

Losing her grandfather to dementia prompted Ellie’s interest in the power of creative communication to build connection around others living with the illness. The Photobook Project supports people with dementia to take control of their narrative, share tender, fleeting moments with loved ones, and build power as a result.

Bayo Adelaja

Bayo Adelaja

Black Then, Black Now, London

Bayo spent much of her youth as the only Black person in the room, which inspired her to create projects that empower the Black experience. Her latest project is Black Then, Black Now: an intergenerational podcast engaging young Black people and their parents and grandparents in recorded conversations on their lives. Through these conversations younger and older people will share stories of racial identity, discrimination, triumph and togetherness.

Helen Ball

Helen Ball

Friends of Norris Green Park, Liverpool

Friends of Norris Green Park brings people together through park based activities, to create community bonds and intergenerational friendships. Helen has identified parks as key spaces in building local connection. During the pandemic, community spirit flourished, and Helen wants to harness this to foster new approaches to tackle neighbourhood problems.

Joel Williams

Joel Williams

Camden and Islington United FC, London

Football provided Joel with opportunity, connection and leadership experience: things he wants for everyone in his community. Camden and Islington United is a community-led football club with a vision of reclaiming space for togetherness. Only a year old, the club already has Women’s and Men’s teams and is planning children’s teams, older people’s teams and other projects to help everyone be part of the community of sport, regardless of age or background.

Neelam Heera

Neelam Heera

Cysters, Birmingham

Living with chronic conditions, Neelam knows the isolating potential of illnesses, and the stereotypes that surround them, particularly when it comes to issues of fertility, identity and tradition. Cysters is working to change the narrative around reproductive and mental health and create a seat at the table for people of colour when it comes to health policy – while connecting people for peer-to-peer support.

Yvonne Murphy

Yvonne Murphy

The Talking Shop, Cardiff

As an elected councillor, Yvonne is keen for everyone to understand their civic rights. The Talking Shop is a cultural and democracy information centre – a space for all to discuss their challenges, their communities’ issues and to explore and understand the democratic process. It is a physical what’s on, what’s where and who’s who listings hub, using the power of the arts to inform and connect people to drive the social change they need.

Hanna Adan and Yasin Bojang

Yasin Bojang and Hanna Adan

Home Girls Unite, London

Yasin and Hanna created Home Girls Unite as an online and offline support group and safe space for first daughters of immigrants to discuss the real experiences of childhood in marginalised communities. It works to help people connect with their multiple identities in a complex world – the worlds of their parents, their peers, and the worlds young women envisage for themselves.

Steve Williams

Steve Williams

Men on the Edge, Nottinghamshire

In Bassetlaw, Worksop and the wider north Nottinghamshire area, Men on the Edge brings men together in community to support those dealing with isolation, bereavement, abuse and a range of other social factors affecting men in later life. Through woodwork, DIY, gardening, fishing and other community-led initiatives, Steve works with a therapeutic approach to help people feel seen, heard and valued.

Yomi Ajilore

Yomi Ajilore

beBrave, London

Yomi founded beBrave to shape and nurture the leaders of tomorrow. Through community, engagement and education, the goal is to create a multitude of pathways to success – that can last a lifetime. By building a community of role models, beBrave is inspiring a new generation of leaders to build businesses that can help them live more connected lives.

Michelle Bradley

Michelle Bradley

The Parent Rooms (formerly We Are PANGS), Northern Ireland

The Parent Rooms is a community hub that helps parents access the support and friendship they need. Michelle felt alone and isolated after giving birth, with no specialist services or support groups available in Northern Ireland. Through wellbeing workshops including art therapy courses, peer support groups, meditation classes and befriending, parents build connections with one another, their children, and the wider community.

Watch some of the conversations and lessons shared in The Multiplier in the videos below, and click on the Twitter links to see more from the threads.

If you’d like to be kept in the loop with when we open applications for our next cohort of Multipliers, please email rosa.friend@thecaresfamily.org.uk.

Donate today

Thank you for considering a donation to The Cares Family. Your gift will help to tackle loneliness and build connection and community in a disconnected world. Our work is powered by people – so please chip in if you can.

The Cares Family is a UK registered company (10236615) and registered charity (no. 1180638). North London Cares is a UK registered company (07737818) and registered charity (1153137). South London Cares is a UK registered company (8757344) and registered charity (1157401). Manchester Cares is a UK registered company (10893107) and registered charity (1176902). Liverpool Cares is a UK registered company (11166325) and registered charity (no. 1177749). East London Cares is a UK registered company (11809555) and registered charity (no. 1186012).