As lockdown restrictions continue to ease (for many of us, anyway) I would like to take this opportunity to thank each of you that have managed to donate their time, money, food or energy over these past few months. Since we went into lockdown I have been inspired by the efforts of volunteers across Croydon.
While a welcome hint of normality is returning to Croydon, much remains to be done. Some of our most vulnerable remain shielded and households will continue to have to self-isolate for up to two weeks if someone within them develops symptoms.
Today’s brief update has three parts (click to skip to that part):
1. A guide for those who are vulnerable, shielded or older (over 70) who are thinking of returning to their previous voluntary roles
2. Volunteering opportunities that remain available through the Croydon Mutual Aid network and Croydon Voluntary Action
3. A brief guide to accessing support
Sarah Jones MP
Member of Parliament for Croydon Central
I know that many of you will be looking forward to returning to your previous voluntary roles, now that restrictions are easing. Many institutions across Croydon are reliant upon those who freely give their time and I know from personal experience that these roles can also be very enjoyable!
It is vital that this is all done as safely as possible though. Don’t be shy in asking for health and safety assessments, special measures to be taken to accommodate you, or voicing any questions that you might have to the organisation you are choosing to support. It’s much more likely that your needs have been overlooked accidentally than that your presence is a hindrance!
Please see this great guide from Age UK about how to return to voluntary roles safely, as well as information on how to get involved with some of the vital work that they do: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/coronavirus/coronavirus-guidance/returning-to-volunteering/
While this guide has been written for the over-70s, I think we could all do with observing its advice on how to act in a safe manner through the month ahead – for others’ sake as well as our own.
Croydon Mutual Aid
The interactive Croydon Mutual Aid map remains active. Click the map below to see where your local groups are and join up to help if you have not already. I’ve been assured that help remains welcome!
After clicking on your area you should then get access to the local contact who you can get in touch with and enquire about volunteering.
Croydon Voluntary Network
The Croydon Voluntary Network is still working hard to ensure that community links remain intact, there is a helpline for the vulnerable and lonely, and that foodbanks operate effectively.
Signing up volunteers here - please complete and submit the form to their Volunteer Centre team who will contact you between 10am and 4pm from Monday to Friday
If you or someone in your household begins to experience symptoms, please begin to self-isolate immediately and order a test here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
If you know someone who needs support, you can contact:
- Croydon Council on their COVID-19 helpline number: 020 8604 7787; Monday-Friday, 9am to 4pm; or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Croydon Voluntary Action on 020 8253 7076 or 07540 720102; Monday to Friday 10 - 4pm; or email email@example.com
- Croydon Mutual Aid on their central helpline: 020 3322 8379, or by using the map provided to find your local group
Finally, despite the COVID-19 outbreak I will be continuing to use my email and phoneline. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office (020 8191 7066) between the hours of 10:00-12:00 and 14:00-16:00, Monday to Friday.