As the festive season approaches, Croydon Voluntary Action (CVA) is calling on local residents to join the #Croydoncares Winter Warmth Drive and help those in need during the colder months.
CVA have worked in partnership with local food banks and organisations, supported by The Felix Project, NHS South West London and Croydon Council* to help prepare for the estimated 30% increase in demand over winter.
Growing pressures as a result of the cost of living crisis and festive season means food banks are working harder than ever to support the local community, and help families to enjoy the season without struggle.
The cost-of-living crisis is hitting hard this winter. We want to reduce the stigma of accessing support and encourage all to do what they can- volunteer, donate a can or a toy. Small acts of kindness make a big difference.Sarah Burns, Director at Croydon Voluntary Action
Nick Graves runs the Food Stop at Old Lodge Lane which is involved in the campaign, and helps around 70 families a week.
Supported by a dedicated team of up to 40 volunteers with most having lived experience, Food Stop describes themselves as a “hand up rather than a hand out” by not only providing balanced food, but offering a range of practical support and advocacy through partners and their own ‘in house’ support team – removing barriers to accessing support.
Volunteering at The Food Stop gives me a sense of purpose after feeling so lost in myself. It restored my motivation, confidence and zest for life. It provided me with a gentle commitment that allowed me to show up for myself and for others. I made new friends and developed an invaluable support network which has been life changing.Catherine, Volunteer at The Food Stop
The #Croydoncares campaign aims to collect non-perishable food items, long-life dairy products, canned goods, and festive treats to support individuals and families struggling to make ends meet.
With five convenient collection points across Croydon, donating is easier than ever. In addition to donating food, individuals can also volunteer their time in some areas to help with sorting, packing, and distributing the collected items. Every hour donated makes a valuable contribution to the initiative.