St Francis Food Stop
The Food Stop is a community food sharing membership scheme whereby for £3.50 a week you can buy approx. £20 worth of food, end-of-line toiletries and household essentials. Membership is available to people living in Monks Hill, Selsdon and Forestdale, and who have a financial need. It takes place every Friday at St Francis Church in Tedder Road and is an amazing service reaching out into the community. It was great for those of us who help at Adventure Tots to be able to recommend this service to one of our mums, who has also received encouragement and a warm welcome at the church.
Homestart provides many services for vulnerable and disadvantaged families with children under five, in Croydon. Throughout the pandemic they adapted their services so that these families could access support in lots of different ways. Volunteers provide one to one support for some families, visiting them in their homes once a week. During the pandemic they provided food and care packages to families close to the edge of not coping and due to the present climate with rising cost of living this has become a permanent part of their work. Several of their volunteers have recently been trained to help families dealing with mental health problems, especially in the perinatal period. They run an inter-generational group to combat loneliness, peer to peer, a food growing/gardening group, a holiday activities and food club during the summer holidays offering fun activities and a nutritious meal. Reduced funding from Croydon Council has meant losing three members of staff, a tragedy when so many families are in need of their services
Woodside Bereavement Service
Woodside Bereavement Service (WBS), also known as The Listening Ear, is a local charity providing bereavement counselling to adults, young people and children in the Croydon area (and further afield for families bereaved by suicide). They offer free, one-to-one bereavement support sessions in their counselling 15 room at The Waterside Centre in South Norwood. They also have a very helpful website giving advice to those struggling with bereavement. Bereavement counselling for children and young people is also offered in schools or sometimes in their own homes. Many of you will know that Jane and Dawn have been running bereavement courses, developed in conjunction with WBS, at SBC during the pandemic. These have benefitted many people who were bereaved in our community. They also run a drop-in café one Wednesday in the month. WBS run counselling courses and last September they welcomed seven new volunteer counsellors, as during August they were able to complete the training course which started in January 2020 but was unfinished when lockdown commenced. Having more counsellors will better enable WBS to meet the needs of a growing number of clients they anticipate this year due to an increase in the number of bereavements during the pandemic WBS thanks us for our support in prayer and with finances.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about the local charities SBC supports financially each year in the last few issues of INSight.
The Community Support Group usually meets no more than twice each year, so being a part of the group does not involve lots of committee meetings. In some cases a member of our congregation is involved as a volunteer, but for others we feel they are providing a vital service to people in our borough and so deserve our support. Once a year each member of this group/team contacts two or three charities to find out how they’re getting on and reports back to the rest of the group, before final decisions on how much to donate are made. The charities always value our interest in them and appreciate our donations. Our team numbers are extremely low at present, so if you feel you could join the team and help our church in supporting local charities, please speak to Trevor Neill or Jacqueline Barbour.