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Croydon COVID-19 community mobilisation - Update 2

Dear friend,
I hope you and your family are staying well and coping with the new restrictions. This email contains three main requests:
  1. Food is urgently required for local food banks who have a desperate shortage at the moment. See more below.
  2. There are three layers of local volunteering, and I would ask you to sign up to any or all of them – the local Mutual Aid Groups who will be giving street by street support, Croydon Voluntary Action Group who will be coordinating much of the effort across Croydon, and the NHS volunteer scheme which will be helping people get in and out of hospital. All need your help. 
  3. Nightwatch, who distribute food to homeless people in the centre of Croydon every night, have lost many volunteers because of age and the new restrictions, so they need volunteers. If you can help, please click here or email 
Please see more information and updates below.

All best wishes,

Sarah Jones
Member of Parliament for Croydon Central

Today’s update will include:

  1. URGENT: Food banks appeal for food donations
  2. How to sign up to volunteer with Croydon NHS & Croydon Voluntary Action
  3. An update from Croydon Covid-19 Mutual Aid
  4. Volunteering & new government restrictions
  5. Writing to Croydon’s elderly - update

1. URGENT - Food banks appeal for food donations

Last night I had a call with local foodbanks. They are urgently in need of food donations, due to a combination of increased demand and insufficient donations. Some people have kindly donated money directly to the food banks, however this is proving difficult for the foodbanks to use due to the new supermarket restrictions in place on bulk buying. 

I am contacting local supermarkets today to urge them to allow priority access for foodbanks to purchase food – similarly to the priority access given to elderly and NHS workers. 

However, in the meantime the most effective thing you can do this week is to donate to your local foodbank.  If you do one thing this week, please make it this. I have updated the list below since last week’s update. As before, I advise calling ahead before visiting to ensure the opening times are accurate. 
Day Food bank Time
Monday Shrublands Foodbank (donations) 9am – 12 pm
Croydon Food bank (West Croydon) 12:00 pm- 2:00 pm
CVA Resource Centre (donations) 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Tuesday Croydon Food bank (West Croydon) 12:00 pm- 2:00 pm
CVA Resource Centre (donations) 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Revivify CIC 11:30am -2pm
Salvation Army 2:30pm to 4:00 pm
The Vine - for donations* 7:00pm to 8:00 pm (donations)
His Grace Foodbank 12pm – 6pm
Trussell Trust Foodbank (Norwood Distribution Centre) 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Wednesday Salvation Army 2:30pm to 4:00 pm
CVA Resource Centre (donations)
9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Purley food hub (last session 28/3/20) 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
The Vine - for referrals* 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Thursday Revivify CIC 11:30am -2pm
CVA Resource Centre (donations) 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Shrublands Foodbank (donations) 12 pm – 3pm
Salvation Army 2:30pm to 4:00 pm
Friday Trussell Trust Foodbank (Norwood Distribution Centre) 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
His Grace Foodbank 12pm – 6pm
Shrublands Foodbank (referrals) 12 pm – 3pm
CVA Resource Centre (donations) 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
The Vine - for donations* 7:00pm to 8:00 pm (donations)
Croydon Food bank (West Croydon) 12:00 pm- 2:00 pm
Saturday Purley food hub (last session 28/3/20) 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
The Vine - for referrals* 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
ELIM Church 1:00 pm- 2:00 pm
Contact details:
Food bank Contact details
Purley food hub Purley United Reformed Church
906 Brighton Road
To donate financially:
Croydon Food bank (West Croydon) Praise Gate Temple, Unit 5
46 Pilton Industrial estate
Tel: 07584281682/07453969687
Tel: 0208 686 5664
To donate financially:
Trussell Trust Foodbank (Norwood Distribution Centre) St Luke's Church
Knights Hill
SE27 0HS
Tel: 07722121108
To donate financially:
Salvation Army Croydon Citadel Corps
Booth Road
Tel: 02086809924
To donate financially:
Bank name: Reliance Bank
Address:  Faith House, 23-24 Lovat Lane, London EC3R 8EB
Account Number:  00178123
Sort Code:  60-01-73
Reference:  CR22 AAA
ELIM Church Mersham Road
Thonton Heath
Tel: 07949489075
The Vine Foodbank
This is located down the lane between 11 & 13 Salcot Crescent, New Addington
Phone:  01689844136
To donate financially:  Please make payment to:
The Salvation Army
Account No: 00178123
Sort code:        60-01-73
Payment Reference: C1CM00002/NE07/ (plus your initials)
Revivify CIC Alma Houses, Ramsey Court, CR0 1RF
Tel: 07757754637
To donate financially:
Shrublands Foodbank 7 Broom Road
Shirley, Croydon, CR0 8NG
Tel: 02034417887
To donate financially: cheques payable to “The Shrublands Trust”
or email for more information
His Grace Foodbank 80-82 Beulah Road, Thornton Heath, Croydon,
Tel: 07946546507

2. How to sign up to volunteer with Croydon NHS and Croydon Voluntary Action

The #clapforourcarers yesterday night was emotional and inspiring. If you would like to volunteer to support our local NHS, a new app has launched this week to sign up. There were an incredible 400,000 volunteers signed up in the first 24-hours, but more are needed.

The NHS will be under the most strain in London in the coming weeks, so if you can help our local NHS please do sign up.
As I mentioned last week – Croydon Council are working with Croydon Voluntary Action (CVA) to coordinate volunteers across the borough. These volunteers will be supporting Croydon Council’s work to deliver food and essential goods to those in Croydon who were part of the 1.5 million high-risk people who must be shielded over the next 12 weeks. These people cannot leave their homes and often have additional needs.

Croydon Council and the CVA are coordinating a number of food hubs across the borough, ensuring those most at risk are supported. If you know someone who needs support, you can contact the CVA on 020 8253 7076 or 07540 720102; Monday to Friday 10 - 4pm; or email

Please do sign up to support this work. There is particularly high demand for people who are already DBS-checked, although this is definitely not a requirement.

3. Update from Croydon Covid-19 Mutual Aid

I continue to work closely with the brilliant hyper-local groups which are springing up across the borough.

The borough-wide Croydon Covid-19 Mutual Aid group now has a full website which you can visit by clicking here, or join the facebook page by clicking here.

As a reminder, you can find your local grassroots group here. Not everywhere in the borough is covered yet – if you can help set up a local group in your area please see here for advice on setting up a local group. 

Below is a message from one of the Croydon Mutual Aid coordinators which explains how these local groups will be working slightly differently to the NHS / Croydon Council schemes.

I urge you to sign up for all three groups as all of them will be doing fantastic and important work.

Statement from Croydon Covid-19 Mutual Aid

The Government recently announced that they will be recruiting 250,000 volunteers & setting up ‘Food Hubs’ to support the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is important to note that this is different from what we are doing as part of Croydon Covid-19 Mutual Assistance.

This NHS volunteer service is being set up to support only the most vulnerable 1.5m people in the UK. Many more people who don’t fit into that category still need support throughout this pandemic. We are working closely with Croydon Council, Croydon Voluntary Action & Sarah Jones MP, to support the roll out of the ‘Food Hubs’ and the deployment of volunteers in Croydon. We will remain independent from their organisation, although we hope to work closely with them.

Until this scheme launches, we will continue to offer support to all who need it in Croydon, including our share of the 1.5m most vulnerable people. Please consider signing up to help the NHS scheme, but please also consider signing up to help us as well.


4.    Volunteering & new government restrictions

I know some people are concerned about what the new ‘stay at home’ requirements mean for volunteering. The government has accepted that volunteering will be crucial in the coming weeks and – as long as you follow the guidance – going out of the house to volunteer is still permitted. The government classes 'essential' volunteering activities as:
  • Delivering food
  • Helping people with their medical needs, such as picking up prescriptions
  • Providing essential care or to help a vulnerable person or person(s), including through essential public and voluntary services, such as food banks, homeless services, and blood donation sessions
For more detailed government guidance on volunteering click here.

My email update on Tuesday had detailed guidance on what the new restrictions mean for daily life – I’ve now combined that guidance into an online Coronavirus Advice Hub. Please feel free to direct friends and family to the hub if they have questions.

5.  Writing to Croydon’s elderly – update

Thanks to those of you who kindly volunteered to help stuff letters to Croydon’s elderly in last week’s email. I have postponed this letter for a short time – for a couple of reasons. Firstly, we have had a supplier issue with our House of Commons paper due to coronavirus!

Second, as I mentioned above, Croydon Council and Croydon Voluntary Action are working to deliver food packages to the most vulnerable who are being told to self-isolate. As part of this, those people will already be receiving letters with a phone number to call to speak to a council employee. 
To avoid confusing elderly people who might receive both letters, I want to leave some time between the two letters. I will be in touch soon with all who volunteered, and thanks again.

Contacting me

Despite the COVID-19 outbreak I will be continuing to work on constituent cases via email, and my office will be increasing the opening hours of its telephone line. I will, however, be closing my office to members of the public and holding my regular advice surgeries by telephone until further notice.

This is to ensure that we maximise the number of people we can help remotely and minimise the risk of spreading infection.

If you or someone you know needs to get in touch with me - please contact me at this email:
Safeguarding, keeping healthy and contacting me

As I mentioned above, I will never share your data, or the data of vulnerable people, with this list or with third parties for legal and safeguarding reasons. Our first priority during this time is to keep our most vulnerable healthy and safe.

Therefore, if you or someone you live with are not feeling well please follow the guidelines on self-isolation and do not take part in any volunteering activities. There may be an opportunity later for those self-isolating to help in some way (e.g. calling elderly people to ensure they aren’t lonely) but this will need to be worked out over the coming weeks.
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