Croydon Carers Could Close

The Croydon Carers Centre is appealing for donations after fears the service’s financial situation could lead to closure at the end of the month.

The Katharine Street centre is run entirely off donations and about £10,000 is needed to pay for rent, insurance and utilities for the building.

Vice-chairman Tina Stracey said the centre would probably close after Christmas without donations.

Tina, a full-time volunteer of 22 years, said: “If we close, it’s going to be a big thing for carers. Carers know they can come here and get help straight away.

“We hope to be able to buy a used minibus to take carers on day trips or to the shops.”

The centre has a charity shop attached, which brings in a small income.

About 30 people volunteer in the charity shop, outreach programmes and in the office. Shadow cabinet member for health and adult social care, Cllr Margaret Mead, said when she was on the cabinet between 2006 and 2014, she “understood a number of invites for funding” had been offered but were not taken up by the centre.

However, according to Tina, the centre decided not to renew the council carers grant funding in 2013 because of “data confidentiality reasons” and it remains independent.

Now they rely solely on donations to provide advice and guidance to thousands of carers across the borough but are open to discussions with the council.

Comedian Ronnie Corbett has donated to the centre and supported the group during Carers’ Week.

Last year, 17,534 people enquired or went to the centre for an appointment.