Time for giving
A massive increase in homelessness in Croydon has seen 100% increase in demands made on The Wellington, formerly the YMCA, a homeless hostel based in the centre of Croydon. And so, the Axis Croydon Office decided to help the homeless in Christmas 2018.
Elaine Adamson, Senior Administrator, had started to collect some key essentials for homeless people and the whole Croydon Team soon got involved. A few volunteer hours and a drive to make a difference produced 75 gift bags comprising hats, gloves, socks, toothpaste and brush, deodorant, hand warmers, toilet rolls and blank Christmas cards and a pen so that residents of the hostel can contact family or friends. Axis people collected, franked and posted the envelopes.
Croydon Council held a bedding drive collecting over 30 duvets and pillows for Wellington residents – all of which were delivered just in time for Christmas when Ian Rhodes, Divisional Manager and Sadie Hack, Resident Liaison Officer also took the gift bags to the Wellington.
There they talked with Lee who is homeless.
Ian explained, “Lee has been homeless for five years due to losing his job with a local removal company. He was happy to help us unload the vans. We presented his gift bag. He was over the moon stating he hadn’t had a bar of soap to himself for a very long time. He was also very excited to be given a brand-new duvet and two pillows.
“I cannot describe the feeling and emotions that came over me when visiting this place – what we consider as everyday items are considered as luxury and beyond grasp by many of the residents. . It goes to show that every little does and can help. I’m proud to say that Team Croydon have undertaken this great work with compassion, empathy and most importantly respect. This has certainly been a leveller for my team and me!”
Just the job
In another initiative, also in December the Axis Croydon Gas Team entertained the residents of Freeman Court sheltered housing scheme with a cup of tea, a slice of cake and the great gift of practical help and advice. Rebecca Lock, Axis Contracts Manager, with colleagues Carol Thompson, Alison Macey, Georgia Halliday and Jackie Avis, assisted residents in reporting any repairs that needed attending to, and a handyman was available to help with any minor jobs that could be completed there and then.
Dinner in a bag
Axis Repairs & Maintenance Croydon Team and Lidl organised ‘Christmas dinner in a bag’ for 47 local residents. Bags contained a chicken joint/nutroast, Yorkshire puddings, stuffing, gravy, carrots, parsnips, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, sparkling non alcoholic drink and Christmas pudding. Our team gave away 19 bags to residents in the north of the borough identified as suffering from severe deprivation and 28 bags to residents currently on probation and identified by the London Probation service as vunerable or in severe need.