drop in centre, charity, croydon, George Street, Council, care, Ian Harley, Hannah Miller, One Of A Kind, opening, launch, Carers Information Service, Mike Fisher, Margaret Mead, Whitgift Foundation, Carers Support Centre

New drop-in centre officially open to all carers in Croydon.

The new Carers Support Centre, dedicated to supporting the borough’s carers, was officially opened on Monday 7 October. The initiative is a partnership between Croydon Council and The Whitgift Foundation.

The new Carers Support Centre is located at 24 George Street in Croydon Town Centre and is open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm. The Centre opened its doors to the public for the first time on Monday 23 September and staff have already been supporting many carers who have dropped in to find information and advice to help them in their caring role. It offers local and national information relevant to carers of all ages, as well as a diverse range of free services, activities and training sessions. It aims to provide easier access to support and information for carers on a variety of issues affecting them such as housing, benefits, debt and employment issues, as well as leisure, social and respite activities.

A complete refurbishment has taken place at 24 George Street with a reception area, meeting rooms and a carers' cafe available to provide space for training sessions, specialist advocacy, individual and group emotional support and surgeries provided by the NHS and Croydon Council services. In the upper floors of the building there is office space for voluntary organisations who will work in collaboration with each other as part of a wider Carers Support Network. They include: the Carers’ Information Service, Young Carers Project, Rethink, Croydon Neighbourhood Care, Crossroads Care South Thames, Horizon Care and Welfare Association, ‘Off The Record’ – Youth Counselling Croydon, Parents in Partnership and Croydon Mencap. There is also a range of meeting rooms available for voluntary organisations to hire from just £10 an hour.

The official opening included speeches and the unveiling of a plaque by: Cllr Mike Fisher, Leader of Croydon Council; Cllr Margaret Mead, Cabinet Member - Adult Services and Health; Ian Harley, Chairman to The Whitgift Foundation and Hannah Miller, Executive Director for Adult Services, Health and Housing. All who attended had the opportunity to view the new facilities and enjoy a special Carers Support Centre cake made by One of a Kind Cake Company in Coulsdon.

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