We'd love to share some 'good news' stories from CNCA and our member groups:
During the Covid-19 period and both lockdowns CNCA have adapted our service. We have been working over a 7 day period, supporting the most vulnerable and isolated over 80’s across the borough.
As part of CNCA’s Complex Befriending Service, we provide support to many vulnerable people. One of these is a gentleman who lives on his own. He has been bereaved, losing both of his parents, and has recently become a victim of crime.
The Coronavirus outbreak and the ensuing period of uncertainty has left him feeling incredibly anxious and he has been missing home visits from Margaret, one of our befrienders. As well as regular phone calls, Margaret has worked tirelessly over the past few weeks to set up a Skype call. Eventually, this week, after a lot of persuasion and perseverance, she managed to call him on Skype.
He was over the moon at being able to chat while seeing her face on the screen. The image before Margaret was of a very happy man, with considerably longer hair but a huge smile. It really made his day and helped him deal with the worries that had been building up.
Another call has been scheduled and he feels so much happier having this to look forward to.
F is a young-at-heart lady in her early 80s who suffered a stroke in 2019. She could no longer drive her car, as she suffered from dizziness, confusion and balance problems. F is a fighter and she managed to find practical ways of coping, such as batch-cooking, so she could eat healthy food every day. She is very house-proud and keeps her home in a good state, even though she feels wiped out afterwards.
F found it very hard to come to terms with the loss of her confidence and independence, and she found it even hard to accept help. Over several weeks, prior to lockdown, we visited her and worked hard to reassure her that there are other ways to be independent, using technology, and engaging more with local organisations.
Subsequently, during COVID-19 she is proficiently skyping her relatives and receiving regular calls from the Selsdon Contact Centre. She is determined to walk to the Centre once the Covid-19 situation is over, and get to know more people in her local area.
M is a lady in her 80s who is bed-bound due to medical conditions. She is quite isolated although she has some good friends who she speaks with by phone regularly. She loves a chat and has lots of good memories of Mario Lanza, who she met as a young woman.
Sadly, her nearest relative passed away during the Covid-19 period and, obviously, she was unable to attend the funeral. As we are unable to visit her, our team have been working hard to support her through her bereavement by telephoning her more regularly and making sure she always has someone to talk to.
M is a lady who lives alone in a large house in Purley. She has no close relatives but has some good friends and neighbours. During the Covid-19 crisis her neighbours were not able to help her with her shopping as they had in the past, so we made a referral to CVA, who make regular shopping trips for her, with the help of volunteers, who drop off her shopping after she pays for it by phone.
Prior to her first delivery from CVA, our befriending coordinator, Laura, wasn't sure that she would have enough to see her through and so delivered some shopping to her in the meantime.
M is looking forward to the lockdown coming to an end so that we can begin home visits.
K is a gentleman in his mid 90s who has regular calls from one of our volunteers. K has lead a full life and has lots of memories of the war. He is a very young-at-heart, lively person, and he enjoys the mental stimulation of a good chat. Our volunteer has a cheeky sense of humour like K, and he loves it when our volunteer teases him, and they keep each other on their toes. K looks forward to her calls and they have developed a great rapport.
Our member groups have been working hard to create their best possible adapted service:
Upper Norwood Association for Community Care (UNACC) they are making and delivering healthy and nutritious meals once a week - however many are needed for that week.
UNACC have also started Nordic Walking again in the summer of 2020 - this is every Wednesday at 10am from UNACC at South Norwood Lake. Safe outdoor exercise followed by socially distanced tea, coffee and post walk chat. The restrictions of the 2nd lockdown have temporarily stopped some of the activities.
South Croydon Day Centre
As well as supporting their visitors through telephone contact, providing shopping services and help with getting prescriptions etc; South Croydon Day Centre have received donations of food items and funds which are used to support the more vulnerable and needy. They are providing food items, including tins, tea bags, milk and drink, and also toiletries to those with genuine need for free.
They hope to be able to continue with this service until they resume normal operations.
More recently they have been running a Fish & Chips collection and delivery drive which has been extremely well received.
Purley & Coulsdon Club for the Elderly (PACE)
PACE have been providing a weekly telephone call to their clients and, additionally, delivering shopping where needed. They have also been sending out a weekly newsletter that contains quizzes, word search etc. (this has been very popular).
ASKI (Advice, Support, Knowledge, Information)
ASKI have delivered 60 hot meals weekly to the elderly in Croydon as part of their COVID-19 response. They have also been providing dance and exercise classes via Zoom which has helped to keep their clients active and focused.
Waddon Community Outreach
Waddon Community Outreach have arranged 'safe distancing conversations' for some of their folk who are really struggling with the isolation. They have set up a meeting time outside with ‘germ free’ chairs, just two - 7 or 8 feet apart. This initiative is helping to relieve some of the pressure and people are being sensible about not coming too often, so others can come if they want to.
New Addington Good Samaritans
NAGS have been speaking to all their people at least every 2 weeks. They are especially looking out for anyone who may have no family and who may be struggling during this time.
Croham Hurst Good Neighbours
At Croham Hurst they have been providing a telephone befriending service to their clients and assisting with shopping where needed.
Addiscombe Neighbourhood Care Association (ANCA)
At ANCA, all through the Covid-19 period, they have been keeping in regular contact by phone with their clients. Additionally, they have provided a shopping and prescription collection service. Medical drives restarted late 2020, with volunteer drivers, to chiropody appointments at Shirley Neighbourhood Care but had to stop again during the 2nd lockdown.
Shirley Neighbourhood Care Scheme
Shirley have been very busy keeping in touch by phone with their clients and helping them where needed and possible. They have also been providing weekly frozen meals (cooked by their lunch club chef). In the summer of 2020, they arranged for 200 cream teas to be delivered, supported by 70 volunteers. The feedback was fantastic! Over Christmas, SNCS delivered hamper bags to their clients/members.
During the first lockdown, Selsdon Contact ran a fantastic food hub with donations. As of 28/7, regular food stopped but emergency food bags are still being delivered. through the summer of 2020, they ran a tea/coffee and cake in the garden initiative. They have also been keeping in touch by phone with their clients.
South Norwood & Woodside Community Association (SNWCA)
At South Norwood they have been busy during this period delivering fresh cooked meals 2-3 times a week. Additionally, they have been keeping in touch with their clients by phone and providing a shopping service too.
Sanderstead Neighbourhood Care
Sanderstead have been providing a shopping delivery and prescription collection service.