The Croydon Partnership’s Community Day took place on Friday 5 June, with our team gardening and decorating at the Whitehorse Youth Centre on Whitehorse Road. As part of our ‘Partners in the Community’ element of our Community Plan, around 40 staff from Westfield, Hammerson, the Whitgift Centre and Centrale came down to the Youth Centre to lend a hand in what was a fantastic sunny day in Croydon.
The Whitehorse Youth Centre is a before- and after-school club used by over 100 kids, six days a week, run by youth workers who themselves grew up coming to the club. The centre is now financially self-sufficient and relies on hiring out their sports hall for community events in order to keep up its income. But it hadn’t seen much love in recent years, and was in need of a new coat of paint – which would make it much more attractive for people to hire.
With a team of eager volunteers, we set out in the morning with a big task ahead of us, to get the whole hall painted in a day. We were also giving a new lick of paint to the outside of the building, and doing some gardening as well as building a pair of allotments for the kids to use too, as part of the work the Whitehorse Youth Centre does with them about healthy eating and growing your own food.
So with an enthusiasm perhaps not matched with DIY experience, our volunteers divided into teams to complete these tasks. The previous day’s forecast had threatened thunderstorms, but these had passed overnight instead leaving us to bask in the sunshine as we laid out the allotments, or seek out the shade to paint inside. Good progress was made in the morning, with a whole coat of paint applied to the hall in remarkable time, and the allotments looking in good shape when we broke for lunch. Pushing on through the afternoon, filling a prodigious number of garden waste sacks in the process, we were finishing things off as the children arrived for the after-school club to see their newly spruced up youth centre.
It was a great day for everyone involved, and the Croydon Partnership would like to thank Kay and all the staff at the Whitehorse Youth Centre for hosting us on Friday – we hope to see you again soon!