A team of brave fundraisers abseiled down a 100ft building in Croydon on Friday to raise money for a local charity that aims to link local businesses with the community and fight deprivation in the borough.
The one-off event for Croydon Commitment took place at a No.26, a new redevelopment located next to East Croydon station. It has already raised over £7,000 60% of their target.
Jack Drydon, who works at Croydon Arts Centre found the experience particularly scary. He told Eastlondonlines: ” I thought once I’d stepped over the edge it would be easy. I’d get the initial terror out of the way and then just sit back. When it came to it, I was shaking all the way down. I just looked at my feet and focussed on putting one in front the other.”
The charity was founded in 2004 aims to help bridge the gap between local businesses and the community around them, and addresses issues of deprivation and inequality in Croydon.
Melinda Ashford, Partnerships and Programmes Manager for Croydon Commitment, said activities like this hope to prove beneficial to the charity and the community.
She told East London Lines: “We do programmes and projects, this one is relative to our house and well being scheme, like every other small charity we need to get funds, we’ve been going for 15 years now and we often raise money through a variety of different sources. Not only that it’s a chance to do something fun for our business members.”
“We have done them [abseiling] in the past, Croydon is the fastest redeveloping borough in London, the area is a bit of a hot spot, buildings going up office blocks changing to housing. 26 used to be a office, and has just been converted, we used this building to highlight the change and growth.”
Ashford said the team has a number of community incentives. She said: “What we will be running through November will be Business Open door month, with a number of big organisations taking part, members of the housing association, Mott Macdonald, who will be doing one who those interested in engineering opportunities, Allianz and a local brewery will also be involved.”
Croydon is one of London’s youngest boroughs, with a rapidly increasing population, and in recent years has seen a significant drop in unemployment rates from 8.4% to 4.7% greater reduction than any other borough aside from Newham. 21.5 per cent of residents in the borough live below the poverty line, just about the national average of 20 per cent.
Croydon Commitment have a number of activities and schemes organised for the rest of the year. A veterans’ tea party will be held at Croydon’s Hilton Hotel offering support for veterans of any age and of any conflict. A Christmas hamper appeal will be offering 500 Christmas bags to local elderly members of the community who cannot get out of the house.