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20th December 2019

The Caridon Foundation hosted a Christmas party for residents of Caridon Group properties who also access the Foundation’s services. The party was held at the Croydon Conference Centre for approximately 150 residents who might otherwise not have had the opportunity to attend a celebration over the New Year holiday period.

Attendees included the Mayor of Croydon, Councillor Humayun Kabir. The Foundation is grateful to Councillor Kabir for his attendance, support for the Foundation and for taking the time to speak and listen to our residents.

Paula Gordon, the Senior Employment Adviser at Waves, which forms part of the Groundwork charity, also attended. Groundwork is a federation of charities working to transform lives in the UK’s most disadvantaged communities. Some Caridon Foundation residents are learning new skills by accessing Groundwork’s services, and Paula’s attendance was a valuable opportunity for other residents to find out how they too can benefit from Groundwork. Guests from other organisations also attended, including Evolve HousingCrisisImagine Mental Health and Mind.

Speeches were given by Mario Carrozzo, CEO of the Caridon Group, and by Jezza, one of the residents accessing the Caridon’s services. He spoke of how he has been able to, in his own words, “rebuild his life”. Jezza spoke from the heart and inspired the other party guests.

Highlights of the event included a sumptuous dinner and individual gifts for each guest. A talent showcase also took place, where Foundation staff and residents staged performances including poetry readings, singing and rapping. An awards ceremony was also held to celebrate some of the residents’ incredible achievements over the past twelve months, often despite great personal challenges.

Among the winners were Kerry Naylor, who joined the Foundation 18 months ago. Together with support from Paula Gordon at Groundwork, Kerry has obtained new qualifications, learned to cook, is volunteering on a regular basis, has joined several local activities and has also taken a leading role in the organising and delivery of this event.

Another winner was Ian Smith. Ian has gone from being without a permanent residence to a sustained tenancy. He is also the captain of the Foundation’s football team, the CF Eagles, which partners with Crystal Palace. Ian also volunteers and continues to pursue his talents as a musician and a rap artist.

The Mayor of Croydon, Councillor Humayun Kabir, said:

“[This event] is an opportunity for me to learn more about Caridon’s work. They offer a lot of services and I am pleased to be here to learn more about Caridon. Mario Carrozzo [CEO of the Caridon Group] works very hard in the community and supports the charity, Mind, with me. They are doing a good job.”

Nash Jaffer, Chairman of Caridon Foundation, said:

“The Caridon Foundation is proud to have hosted the third Caridon Foundation end of year party. The Foundation supports the party attendees throughout the year to successfully manage their tenancies, avoid eviction processes, improve on money management and promote their independence. This, in turn, results in them remaining in their properties for longer periods and also supports them on their journey to move onto longer-term housing options. We are immensely proud to end the year off with an evening of food, celebration and entertainment before picking up our work again in the New Year.”