Volunteers and organisations across the borough have united to support hundreds of people in need.
Croydon Voluntary Action has been coordinating efforts since the COVID-19 outbreak and has supported 400 vulnerable residents in isolation with 91 medication collections, 74 shopping collections and more than 200 food parcels deliveries.
It has proudly supported more than 15 Croydon food banks and soup kitchens, that have picked up supplies from its London Road centre for the residents they serve. These include:Good Food Matters, Revivify, Croydon Food Bank, Holistic Wellbeing Hub, Elim Pentecostal Church Thornton Heath, Nightwatch, Age UK Croydon, Francis Church Food Stop, the British Bangladeshi Society Croydon, and the Shrubland Trust.
Weekly Zoom meetings are held with food banks, soup kitchens, Food Stop shops, Social Prescribing professionals and link workers.
It has also been working with organisations such as Whitgift Foundation who are providing vans and volunteer drivers for deliveries, UK Harvest, local businesses and charities donating items for distribution.
Alison Lawton, who works for the NHS, liaising with Croydon GP practices, said: “Croydon-wide, I have been very impressed by the weekly, now fortnightly zoom call that CVA have organised. It has been a really good opportunity to bring everyone together, to share key information, case studies and lessons learnt. That, from my perspective, has been the most positive outcome of the awful Covid situation.”.
CVA has also been organising webinars providing information on supporting existing volunteers during COVID19 and funding opportunities.
With lockdown extended and food supplies under pressure donations and contributions to the Relief Fund (www.localgiving.org/donation/cva) are even more appreciated.
CVA Chief Executive Steve Phaure, said: “In terms of the months ahead, it’s about moving from an emergency service to one that tackles the underlying health inequalities that have clearly made some people – and some communities – more vulnerable to the virus.”
A helpline to support those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic has been launched by Croydon Covid-19 Mutual Aid (CCMA).
The telephone helpline gives residents without internet access a vital tool to reach out for help from residents in their immediate community
Since March the CCMA network has grown massively with over 70 local Mutual Aid whatsapp groups, including one in Thornton Heath, formed to support residents with over 3,500 people joining the borough wide Croydon Covid-19 Facebook group. Volunteers have helped with shopping or picking up urgent medical supplies Since forming in March CCMA have worked closely with Croydon Voluntary Action (CVA) and Croydon Council. The line is open from 8am until 8pm daily: 020 3322 8379.