Welcome to this CVA Update FOCUS on Faith events & updates in the borough of Croydon
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CVA Update Focus on Children, Young People & Families

Chair's report

Dear Members and Supporters of Faiths Together in Croydon,

I hope you are enjoying the sunny weather and planning for a long hot Summer ahead.

The newsletter is full of information as usual and I hope that you enjoy it and are able to pass it on to members of your communities and other friends for their information.

Please do note that we have an event coming up on May 4th on the topic of Respect, this follows on from the very well attended event in the Autumn on Peace. I do hope that you will be able to come along and join in the discussions.

We are looking for 6 people to ride a bike in the Mayors Bike race on 18th May, could it be you?

Then we are having our annual picnic and bike ride on July 9th so do put that date in your diary. It is on a Sunday again this year, next year we will be trying to plan it for a bank holiday Monday. It is just too dangerous to hold it on a Saturday. The actual Big Lunch this year is during Ramadan so we have moved our picnic, but see below for details of a big community event at Box park on June 18/19th. 

 If you can’t ride a bike, just come to the picnic.  We will be stopping at 2 places of worship and we are still working on the venue for the picnic, but it is very likely it will be in the grounds of Crystal Palace Football Club, and we hope we get to meet a lot of our FTiC supporters!

The article on Dialogues of Peace, by our vice chair, Les Kemp, is well worth a read. Also, there is information from St Christopher’s Hospice about a project they are running. If you want someone to talk to your community please contact Carol Trower or go along to the Braithwaite hall in May and find out more.

Please do send in information about events that you are holding if you want to advertise them to a wider audience.

I look forward to seeing you at the picnic

All the best

Penny Smith-Orr,
Chair, Faiths Together in Croydon

Introducing the Mayor's Crowdfund London Programme 2017 - Croydon

Please see below link for details of a crowdfunding workshop being held on 11th April at Matthew’s Yard. It is in relation to what the Mayor is offering in terms of crowdfunding and there will be information on how to run a crowdfunding campaign, examples of successful projects and so on – full details in the link.

Save the date

Annual Interfaith Bike Ride and Picnic

Sunday 9th July 2017

This year our annual picnic will be on July 9th. Please put the date in your diaries.

We are working on another bike ride route leading to the picnic and hope that you and your families will be able to come along and meet us and other people of faith in Croydon.

On May 18th, the bike races are coming to Croydon again and we are looking for 6 people to ride for Faiths Together in the Mayor’s race. This is one lap of the circuit at about 3.30pm and would be great publicity for us. If you think you could be there for us, please do let us know as soon as possible at  


An open event organised by Faiths Together in Croydon
Thursday 4th May 2017 (evening)

Following the very successful Faiths Together event on Peace our next event will focus on Respect.  Details will be circulated as soon as they become available.

#We Stand Together

“Sad; angry; distressed; ashamed; sick; numb; frightened.” These are some of the sentiments our member organisations and users of our services have conveyed since the brutal and senseless attack on the young Kurdish man in Croydon last week.
This young man / child came to the UK alone, like many asylum seekers, seeking our safety and protection. We as a society failed him. This vicious attack, fuelled by hatred and ignorance has no place in the Croydon that we are proud of and that our families live in. We as a community need to learn lessons from this incident and look to how this can never happen again on our doorstep.

To start the dialogue, a community event, #We Stand Together, has been organised for Tuesday 11 April 2017 to bring agencies and groups from private, statutory and voluntary sector together to show their solidarity and commitment to showing that Croydon is a borough where refugee and asylum seekers are welcome. To show that Croydon is a borough where those fleeing persecution and injustice will be protected and given sanctuary. The event is also, most importantly, an opportunity for members from refugee backgrounds to share their experiences and stories. An opportunity to have their voices heard by those who have the power to determine the level of protection and support that they receive if they come to Croydon.

Please share this event and encourage people from refugee and migrant communities to attend so that they can feel reassured, and also they can guide those in authority on solutions to improve the quality of life of minority communities in Croydon.
#We Stand Together
Tuesday 11 April 2017
CVA Resource Centre
82 London Rd, West Croydon CR0 2TB
6pm to 8pm.
Doors open 5.30pm
Spaces are limited so please arrive

The Great Get-Together/The Big Lunch

This year the Big Lunch is joining the Great Get-Together and the Jo Cox Foundation to create the biggest national event in years, in memory of Jo Cox MP.  Croydon will be celebrating in Box Park. on the weekend 18th-19th June (date for be confirmed).

As the date this year falls during Ramadan this will also be an Iftari event.

Each faith will be invited to put on a display.

18-19th June: Big Lunch & Big Get Together’ (and Big Lunch) falls in June during Ramadan this year
St Christopher's are Recruiting a 
Community Participation Lead
£40,000 p.a.     36 hours per week, fixed 2 year term

Looking for someone to develop and implement a compassionate community programme that will encourage the public to participate in the delivery of end of life care to their families, neighbours and community.
Closing Date 18 April 2017

 New Home Furniture Bank 

Ten million items of furniture are thrown away in the UK every year.  Three million of these items could easily be re-used; more could be repaired.”  Furniture Reuse Network 

Croydon Churches have recently set up a furniture bank - New Home Furniture Bank.  This is a very practical way of helping to create homes for those families most in need whilst at the same time saving perfectly good furniture from landfill sites.  A similar project in Swindon is now able to provide furniture for 30 families each month. 

It is very likely that anyone facing situations such as moving out of temporary accommodation or escaping from domestic violence will be in need of furniture and household equipment.  New Home take donations of unwanted items of furniture that’s in reasonable condition.  They then sort and store the furniture before delivering and donating it, free of charge, to people in genuine need who have been referred to New Home by one of a number of agencies in Croydon. 

New Home is meeting a real need in Croydon by helping families to make a new start through turning an empty property into a home.  By helping families in this way, New Home demonstrates and provides reassurance that there are people in Croydon who care about them. 

For more information about this project email Donna Harrison, New Home Project Leader at 

Dialogues for Peace

Understanding comes from knowledge and dialogue provides the opportunity for getting answers that complete or expand our understanding and support community cohesion.

It has been a busy start to 2017 for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community with three local events during March.

On the evening of March 4th in the Thomas Wall Centre in Sutton a multi-faith event on Religion and Marriage which featured brief presentations from a Buddhist (myself), a Baptist minister and the Imam of Baitul Futuh Mosque Morden. These set the scene for a wide ranging question and answer session with local residents and invited guests a gathering in excess of 100 people. We could have carried on for hours but hot food and networking time rounded off the evening with all leaving participants better informed and some tentative friendships developing.

Event 2 took place at the St James’s road Mosque in Croydon on Sunday afternoon 12th March. An all women multi-faith meeting posing the question  ‘Can religion play a part in eradicating extremism’ .

On this occasion my wife Angel offered her Buddhist view alongside Hindu, Christian, Ba’hai and Islamic offerings before a lively and lengthy question and answer session that continued into hot food and networking. This has been an annual event for several years and everyone enjoys the opportunity to share and learn a little more.

Finally on Saturday 25th March The 14th ‘National Peace Symposium’ was held at the Baitul Futul Mosque in Morden. A gathering of 800+ guests supported by hundreds of volunteers focused on a theme of ‘Global Conflicts and the need for Justice’ 
Several speakers gave commentary on the need for Justice when dealing with and resolving global conflicts all with both a personal perspective and actual involvement in the process. 
Several messages wishing the event every success were also voiced, including one from the Vatican delivered by FTiC member Father  David Standley
The Keynote speech was then delivered by  the International leader of the Ahmidiyya Muslim Community,  Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad who explored the current world situation with regard to conflicts and reflected on that lack of Justice that is a necessary ingredient for lasting peace. The speech was roundly applauded and was the subject of much discussion over a delicious dinner served by hundreds of volunteers from the community.
Les Kemp, Vice Chair, Faiths Together in Croydon
Charity Walk for Peace
Sunday 14th May 2017

A walk in pursuit of Service to Humanity
The Charity Walk for Peace is an initiative of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Elders Association
More information 

Dying Matters Festival
8th-14th May 2017

Bringing "Dying Matters" out from the medical world, back into our homes and communities has been gaining momentum over recent years, in an attempt to once more normalise death within families and the communities in which they live.

During the Dying Matters Festival in Croydon there will be events all over Croydon.  For a programme of events click here.  Booking for individual events and further information, please visit

For more about the project headed up by St Christopher's Hospice, click here 

The project is looking for volunteers of all faiths.  If you are interested in volunteering or wish for a volunteer to come and talk to your group please contact 

Holocaust Memorial Day January 27th 2017

In Croydon, we have been marking Holocaust Memorial Day with an event since 2001. The first few years we held it in the Whitigft centre and attracted a large crowd every time. We have also had events at the Fairfield Halls and the Clock tower and Braithwaite hall.

There last several years have seen the event moved into the Town Hall, with a candle lighting in the foyer and then an event in the Council Chambers.  This year the Mayor, Cllr Wayne Trakas-Lawlor, spoke about the need to remember and read the Croydon pledge. There was as usual a large crowd in the foyer and the pupils from the three schools that participated stood on the staircase. The Mayor noticed this and positioned himself to be seen by all which was very much appreciated. 

The Faiths Together rep from the Synagogue also spoke and the dignitaries were asked to light a candle and sign the book of remembrance. All guests had an opportunity to do this after the event which then took place in the council Chambers.

We had a talk for Marcel who was a small boy in the war and whose mother gave him to some ladies from the follies Berger who brought him up. We also had a speaker who came here on the Kinder transport. Both of these are available to come and speak to schools or other groups.

Three schools from Croydon took part, Oasis Purley, Riddlesdown, and Meridian Academy who spoke about the work they had been doing on the Holocaust. Cllr Ali also spoke during the event and afterwards there was an opportunity to meet the speakers and members of the audience. 

Next year the event will be held on Friday 26th January and is open to all. 

Westminster  - March 22nd 2017

On 22nd March the country was shocked by a terrorist event on Westminster bridge. The following week on the 29th there was a small memorial event at the Town Hall in Croydon. 

Many members of Faiths Together, the Police, the Ambulance crews and members of the Council as well as members of the public gathered at the Town Hall at 2.30pm. The flag had been flying at half mast all week and the Mayor said a few words and then raised the flag. Cllr Ali talked about community and how Londoners stand together against all terror attacks. Inside we heard from the Bishop of Croydon, who read the Faiths Together in Croydon pledge and from Ashtaq Arrain of the Muslim Association of Croydon who spoke about the need to work together whatever our faith (or none) might be and act as one community. It was a very moving afternoon that made us feel proud of Croydon.

Help for Young People with Mental Health issues

Croydon Drop-In (CDI)
CDI provide free, confidential services to young people 10 – 25 who live, work or study in the borough of Croydon and opening hours had been extended to 8pm. They use volunteer counsellors and currently have a six week waiting time,
The core services provided:
  • Drop-In support service ( an open door policy / open access provision)
  • Counselling Service
  • Advocacy and Advice a wide range of information on health; housing; money; debt employment/training - working within a Human Rights framework
  • Counselling In 8 Schools (primary and secondary)
  • Outreach Health and Wellbeing Education,
  • TALKBUS service and Community  Support
  • Information / Sign Posting / Support
  • Young Peoples’ Groups
  • Training – Accredited and non-accredited courses and workshops
  • Parent Infant Partnership – In partnership with Croydon Best Start and PIPUK - PIP is a new initiative for CDI. 
More info and contact details

Off the Record (OTR)
OTR provide a wide range of free, friendly and accessible support services for young people in Croydon and Sutton.
  • Counselling – a friendly, non-judgemental and confidential space for 14 – 25 years olds to explore their thoughts, feelings, beliefs or experiences with a trained listener.
  • Compass - specialist mental health service providing support to young people in Croydon who are refugees, asylum seekers or forced migrants.
  • The Young Carers Project - a free, friendly and professional service, offering support to young people (aged 7-25) who are caring for a parent or sibling.
  • BME Community Development Workers - helps the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) community to develop mental health services. By providing support to mental health and community organisations to help the development of services for young people and young adults aged 0-35 years.
More information and contact details

In Summer 2016 Skyline was launched to provide online counselling and workshops to young people aged 14-25 in Croydon and Sutton.
The workshops are free, informal and online, providing practical help and information about key issues such as depression, stress, anger or anxiety.

More information and contact details

Dates for your diary

Thursday 4th May 2017 (evening):  Faiths Together event concerning "Respect"
8th-13th May 2017:  Dying Matters Awareness Week
Sunday 14th May 2017:  Charity Walk for Peace
Thursday 18th May 2017:  The Mayor's Bike Race
Sunday 9th July 2017:  Interfaith bike ride and picnic

If you have any events you would like included in the Faiths Together in Croydon newsletter please send details to  The next newsletter will be in July.
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