In 2020 Croydon’s voluntary and community sector (VCS) reacted magnificently to the challenge of a global pandemic. In 2022 the cost-of-living crisis is different: we know it’s coming and we need to be proactive - now.
For the last two years CVA and the Council have built on the legacy of Covid19 to create a network of Local Community Partnerships covering the whole borough. Community Hubs are being appointed in all six localities to act as access points for vulnerable families, with the remit to provide personalised care, peer networking and community self-help activities – with emergency support available when needed.
These Hubs are perfectly placed to hold the frontline when heating and eating becomes a real challenge for families this winter. We need to fast-track their development – and instead of one, we need a network of Hubs in every locality (the Hub & Spokes model).
Luckily, the foundations are in place. We have a strong and resilient VCS in Croydon, with tremendous assets to call on – through our faith communities, championed by a dynamic new Bishop of Croydon; our Foodbanks, set up by some of the borough’s most enterprising community champions; our Council colleagues, galvanised by the exciting lead being given by Mayor Perry; and of course the NHS.
We have the asset base and we have experience to avert this crisis – what we don’t have is easy access to a pot of emergency funding. So we need to mobilise the resources we do have – and put everything behind a Croydon-wide campaign to bring additional resources into an extended network of Community Hubs.
The VCS is ready again to support people through a crisis. But, as acknowledged during the pandemic, this demands a shift in investment towards VCS services – right now. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org