The Croydon Children and Families Partnership is responsible for setting the overarching vision and strategy for children, young people and families in the borough, working with stakeholders from the public, private and third sector to improve the physical, mental, emotional, social and economic well-being of children, young people and families living in Croydon.
It aims to enable all children and young people in Croydon to be aspirational in their achievement of the 5 Every Child Matters outcomes:
Be healthy; Stay safe; Enjoy and achieve; Make a positive contribution; and Achieve economic well-being.
The Children and Families Partnership Board is not a decision-making body but recommends for approval to statutory authorities any jointly agreed plans or strategies relating to children and young people; taking into account national policies, existing local service provision and likely available resources.
Meet the recently elected Board Members for the Children & Families Partnership & Sub Groups. Click on any of the tabs below to view each individual.
"I have represented the Children, Young People & Families Network on the Children and Families Partnership Board for several years and have been a regular attender and contributor to meetings. Off the Record provides a range of services to children and young people in the borough including counselling for young people, young carers support, mental health support for young refugees and asylum seekers and BME mental health work. Having worked for Off the Record for over 20 years I feel I have a strategic overview and broad understanding of many of the issues discussed at the Children and Families Partnership Board and the commitment and confidence to bring a voluntary sector voice to those discussions."
Email - Karen Stott
"PIP is the voice for Croydon parent carers of children with SEN and disabilities. We provide 1to1 support to Croydon families as well as bespoke training. Furthermore we are the Croydon Parent Forum tirelessly working with the Croydon LA and CCG to review, improve, influence local services - we attend AAD executive and reference group, LD and Autism Partnership Boards, SEN Implementation Board, Transition Group, Personal Budgets Group, we are also part of the review of Short Breaks provision, CAHMS pathways and Children Therapies provision. Being a member of the board will allow us to be able to pass on and exchange the valuable information that we regularly collect and are part of, sourcing from both - Croydon families and the LA/CCG. This can also allow for the wider discussion and involvement of other like-minded organisations in the borough which should strengthen the voice and position of the voluntary sector."
Email - Agnieszka Gebka
"As a teacher and Education Consultant I believe that with my experience in Education I possess the knowledge and skills that are required to successfully do my job. I have worked in the classroom for many years but have also helped children and families to cope with the change in the education system and the community in general."
Email - Racquel Tomlinson Lawrence
"I was Director of Pro-Active South London, the County Sports Partnership largely funded by Sport England for 9 years. P-ASL (now London Sport) was based in Croydon and I have a very good knowledge, understanding and network of community sports clubs and other sports agencies delivering sport in Croydon. I am also a Trustee for Crystal Palace FC Foundation and have taken the lead on the development of their health prevention strategy.
I have been working with the CVA for 18 months, leading the Game Changer programme, which aims to get more young people (age 14-25) into sport and physical activity - and to access key training, employment, life skills and health services, working with an increasing number of community and voluntary organisations.
I have also been working with LB Croydon's Public Health team to explore new programmes and initiatives to get local people more active.
Physical inactivity is one of the leading causes of chronic illness and early death, including obesity. With Croydon having one of the highest incidents of childhood obesity nationally, getting young people and adults active is one of the most important ways to tackle weight gain and at the same time impact positively on other causes of physical and mental health including CVD, cancer, COPD, dementia and depression.
Getting people more active - moving from doing nothing to doing something - must be part of an overall package of interventions to tackle obesity, helping people to make activity an everyday part of their lives."
Email - Christine Double
"I am newly part of the Good Food Matters team in New Addington I would be keen to sit and represent CROYDON VCS and feedback to the voluntary sector. I have previous experience of sitting on similar boards in another borough and as a voluntary sector consortium member and lead in this instance for older people. Personally this role would help my understanding of both the voluntarysector and young people's services across Croydon."
Email - Amanda McGrath
"This is a very important time for children and young people's emotional health. Following the 2015 'Future in Mind' Report, emotional health and wellbeing have received increased media attention and are services are set to receive welcome new resources. I work for Off the Record who have been delivering mental health support for children and young people in Croydon for over 20 years. I have been involved in local discussions about the new CAMHS Transformation Plans helping to ensure voluntary sector services are represented in the plan. I would like to continue that work by representing the sector on the Emotional Health and Wellbeing Strategy Group that will be key to driving forward improvements in this area. I have extensive experience in this field and would be an active representative on the Group."
Email - Karen Stott
"I would like to put myself forward to represent the VCS on the Emotional Health and Wellbeing Strategy Group. I believe I have required skills and expertise to contribute and make a difference within Croydon community. I do a lot of work with parents and families in Croydon (over 100 families each year) supporting them with mental health issues, general well-being and access to employment and training. I also facilitate many peer to peer discussion groups on various topics, such as parenting, work-life balance, family nutrition and mental health issues. I work with local children centres, community groups and local authority developing and delivering innovative projects like 'Promoting healthy Living through Crafts'. I am also currently on the journey to become Health Champion within the Borough of Croydon. I am very passionated about making families of Croydon happier and healthier but I am also looking into developing a one stop shop for all support available within the Borough."
Email - Yuliana Topazly
"Place2Be is a school-based counselling service, dedicated to improving the emotional wellbeing of children, their families and the whole school community. We help children explore their problems through talking, creative work and play. We are based in 11 schools in Croydon and are often involved with supporting schools in dealing with safeguarding concerns. Our service supports children in building their emotional and mental health which has a positive impact on their academic attainment as well as enabling them to cope better and prevent serious mental health and behavioural concerns later on in life. We work with all of the systems around the child, including the school and parents, in order to support this process. Representation on this board will support us in this process and also help us to strengthen our link with external agencies to ensure effective partnership working and allow us to input into the development of policies and procedures at a strategic level."
Email - Rina Bajaj
"I am interested in representing the VCS on this board as I have been involved since its inception, I have seen first hand how all areas of health and well being have been addressed in this setting and how Croydon, as a CCG and Local Authority, is actively seeking to be accountable to residents and all stakeholders.
Through the wider networks that I am involved in through my role at Croydon Drop In, I am able to disseminate relevant information and bring a very 'real' dimension to discussions around mental health and well being issues. As a CEO of a local charity I have worked in partnership with many Croydon VCS organisations which has assisted in ensuring resources are utilised in the most effective way possible. My current VCS colleague on the HWBB has also supported this work and together we have been able to demonstrate the positive aspects of working in alliance with other VCS organisations. Alongside the skills and expertise required in being responsible for the operational management of a registered charity, I am also a qualified and experienced trainer, working in the fields, Community & Youth Work, Group Work, Personal Development and Social Enterprise development. I would welcome and appreciate the opportunity of representing the VCS on this board."
Email - Kim Bennet
"I am an Employment Lawyer who regularly run seminars encouraging the youths to turn their lives around -http://www.employmentadvocacyservices.co.uk/training_seminars/youngentrepreneurial2.pdf.I believe that I have sufficient experience to assist the Board to make our community a better place for all to live, grow and develop their full potential. Details of my profile can be found here"
Email - Dawn Oliver
"I have a lot of past and present experience of working with the NEET category group between 14-25 years old. I have engaged with NEET category group as a Father, Uncle, Football Coach, Youth Worker, Teacher and Mentor. I believe that I genuinely want to champion young people being and maintaining themselves to well rounded happy individuals who will realise their dreams and aspirations or alternative groups and careers respectively. I want to be part of an effective support network that guides, supports and empowers young people along their journey in life."
Email - Richardo E Bhola
"I am a co-founder and Director of My OutSpace Centre, which is accredited social enterprise based in Central Croydon. The centre specialises in supporting parents into employment or self-employment and the only centre, which offers safe flexible workspace and childcare provision. I work with over 100 families each year and most of them are those who have children under 5 years old. I believe I am a perfect candidate to represent Early Help Board as I have relevant experience and local knowledge. I am also a parent myself who struggled with isolation issues, recovered from post-natal depression via setting up our social enterprise and now supporting others to achieve their potential and overcome various barriers.
The biggest issues we see among parents is lack of self-confidence, which very often leads to mental issues, like post-natal depression and lack of awareness about local services. We work with various children centres creating awareness around support services available in Croydon, run peer to peer support groups, coffee mornings, parenting classes, signposting as well as employability courses and one to one mentoring support. If I am successful in joining the Early Help Board, I will do my best to create awareness about support services available to parents with young children within the borough as well as to create accessible a one stop information point. Thank you."
Email - Yuliana Topazly
"I have supported children and families in Fieldway and New Addington for over 16 years in my role at the Family Centre. I believe that every child should be given the right tools and opportunity to develop and fulfill their potential. Parents/carers are recognized as their child's first educators, and so it is important to include them in the process too. I have experience and qualifications in childcare,working with parents, parenting programmes and safeguarding/child protection."
Email - Julia Weller
"I work for an organisation providing practical and emotional support to families in their own home in their child’s early years. We see first-hand the effects that poverty has on a family. I intend to continue to voice the views of the families and those of other voluntary sector groups to get our voices heard so that strategies take them into consideration and will be effective in the community."
Email - Laura Bailey
My work with the food bank has also given me many links within the VCS sector and therefore I am able to signpost and understand the needs of many in our community especially the vulnerable. I have also participated in various boards including the JSNA, Sexual Health and Teenage Pregnancy Subgroup and others whilst volunteering for HealthWatch Pathfinder. I currently also sit on the Croydon Food Network and I am also a member of Soroptomist."
Email - Fatima Koroma
"I have represented CVA's CYPFN on the SEN Reform Board from its inception, and have followed and participated in the development of the Local Offer as part of the new SEN Code of Practice introduced in September 2014. My interest in children's special/additional needs is based on working as a SENCo in a local school until retirement in 2007, my role as chair of Croydon Dyslexia Association for 20 years and as mother of a child with moderate learning difficulties. As my daughter is now in her early thirties, there are new challenges to face, and with the experience of supporting an adult with a disability, I would like to continue as a VCS representative on the All Age Disability Reference Group."
Email - Jenny Crook
"I work at Off the Record in the Compass project, managing and co-ordinating a team of counsellors working in schools and at the OTR office with young refugees, asylum seekers and forced migrants. I am an MSc qualified Psychotherapist and Counsellor, UKCP and BACP registered.
As the of Compass Project co-ordinator at Off the Record I have worked closely with a number of Looked After Children in Croydon in the past 3 years, offering therapeutic support to some of the most vulnerable and traumatised children in our Borough. I feel strongly about the importance of their voices being heard in strategic meetings and feel committed to ensuring that this is the case.
I have represented the voluntary sector on the Looked after Children Strategic Partnership for the past 2 years would appreciate your support in enabling me to continue to do so."
Email - Tiago Brandao