The CR Zero 2020 countdown continues…
On 20, 23 and 25 August this week, volunteers for Connections Week met at the Community Space in the Croydon Council offices on Mint Walk.
There was a real buzz of excitement during the training, with approximately 20 to 40 people attending each session.
The training is a necessary requirement for approaching the street population of Croydon to complete surveys, and also for those who signed up to manage the hub at Alexandra House, as rough sleepers will be encouraged to drop in on Wednesday 31 August and Thursday 1 September between 10am-1pm.
The training began with icebreakers and a presentation on CR Zero 2020 and the rise of chronic street homelessness in Croydon. There was a brief break, where food was generously donated by the Pret Foundation for each gathering.
Volunteers were then arranged into teams of 7-10 people in order to go through protocol for the survey collections, which included: boundaries, safety, and respect for the street population. Afterwards, the teams split into pairs and practised roleplay scenarios to help build volunteers’ confidence about interviewing rough sleepers.
The reasons why the volunteers signed up to help with Connections Week were varied; some had missed the WHAT (Westminster Homeless Action Together) event in July and were still keen to be involved, others wanted to support people in the community and give back rather than focus on personal activities at the weekend.
However, the most common reason for volunteers was that CR Zero 2020 is such a great opportunity to do something about a local issue which previously made them feel quite helpless. Croydon based volunteers want to help the homeless, but did not know how. This campaign has given them the chance to do something practical to solve a community problem.
Some volunteers, when they read that CR Zero 2020 was part of the European-wide movement, were eager to part of such a big movement.
The CR Zero 2020 countdown will continue with an article covering Connections Week in our next blog post.
To find out more about the CR Zero 2020 campaign, and about how to get involved in the campaign, whether via corporate gifts-in-kind donations, being part of a solutions-based group or simply helping to raise awareness of chronic street homelessness in Croydon via social media click here.