Part of our SBC vision is to be a generous church, so here is some information about three more of the organisations to whom we send annual donations – West Croydon Refugee Day Centre, Croydon Drop In and Croydon Vision.
Croydon Refugee Day Centre
‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine you did for me’ (Matthew 25:40). Covid restrictions have prevented us from operating our usual Tuesday morning drop-in, because of the crowded indoor environment. Instead we have adapted our services to provide clothing, food parcels and toiletries to those in need.
We receive donations of food items, new and good-quality second-hand clothing and footwear, buggies and baby clothing from organisations and individuals. We give thanks for all these donations and for our volunteers without whom we would not be able to provide our services.
Our Family Education Project has supported parents and children, mainly in one South Croydon hotel, through various activities and educational games for children not in school. We have also helped parents with school admission procedures for their children.
Please pray for the health and safety of all asylum seekers in Croydon, for financial provision to meet the needs of those who seek our services and for wisdom for the trustees and leading volunteers in discerning how to adapt our services in a changing and uncertain environment.
Croydon Drop In
Croydon Drop In provides an invaluable service to young people between the ages of 10 and 25 in the Borough of Croydon.
Counselling: Counselling had to take place online or by phone during the lockdowns, when the main concerns were anxiety, anger, low mood and sleep problems, but is thankfully taking place in person now. Young people are often referred for talking therapies.
Therapeutic groups often help to build a young person’s self -esteem. Counselling also takes place in some Croydon schools and was found to be greatly needed during the pandemic. As well as providing individual counselling sessions, an Outreach team goes in to schools to deliver health education and advice to class groups.
Older young people can get advice on numerous issues such as housing, welfare benefits and social issues.
Drop In has a Talkbus, a mobile unit which travels around the borough. Team members who are trained in areas such as substance misuse, sexual health and emotional wellbeing can refer young people to their counselling service. They are very grateful for our interest in their work and our donations, as there is uncertainty over the funding they receive from Croydon Council.
Croydon Vision encourage independence, confidence and personal development among the blind and the partially sighted community of Croydon. It’s free to become a Croydon Vision member, and members and their families/carers can take advantage of a range of free and low-cost services and activities such as: Advice & Advocacy, Low Vision Clinic, Talking Therapies, Sight Loss Workshops, Tech Training, Outreach Service, Young People, Route to Employment, Transport & Lunch and various Social Groups as well as cookery, exercise and French classes and a book club. Regular newsletters are sent to members.
The Children & Young People’s Project runs once a month and during all school holidays and half terms. Parents are grateful for the encouragement activities give to their children and all activities took place over Zoom during lockdown.
Some activities have begun to take place at Bedford Hall but some remain online. The Lunch club is meeting three days each week and clients can be picked up if necessary. Throughout the second lockdown earlier last year the online classes and social sessions were invaluable to clients. Due to so much online activity during lockdowns, their community of members is a lot more tech savvy and many members have been made more aware of what technical resources there are for visually impaired (VI) people. Tech staff visited clients when allowed, to help with computer problems or contacted them by phone. The pandemic obviously changed how the organisation operated, but they are trying to encourage members to venture out again.
Some interesting facts from their annual report:
57% of their members live in the most deprived areas of Croydon.
200 new cases of visual impairment were diagnosed in Croydon in the past year.
Volunteers and staff made 1,740 befriending calls.
Over 3,000 lunches were delivered to members.
32 members transitioned in to voluntary or paid employment.
Some members were trained to deliver visual awareness workshops so as to make Croydon more VI friendly.
There were 147 evening and weekend sessions for working-age members.
They are trying to diversify their funding sources so that they are not so reliant on Croydon Council grants and have no idea if they will get a grant from the Council. Donations came from a variety of sources, larger ones from organisations like the Lottery Fund and smaller ones from organisations like ours for which they are always very grateful. Watch out for details of other organisations we support in future editions of INSight.