The Caridon Foundation offers housing related support to tenants who are deemed vulnerable within the community. As a result of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown, these tenants have been negatively impacted in a number of ways, such as being unable to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables when convenience stores were stripped of stock, and those with health issues were often too afraid to use public transport to go to the supermarket. In addition, tenants have seen an increase in the cost of their electricity as a result of being indoors all day.
This has meant that, as well as actively housing vulnerable tenants across the south of England, Caridon Foundation has made it their mission to find ways to keep tenant ‘fed’, socially connected, and emotionally supported. We have focused heavily on securing funding for our tenants, nearly all of whom are on universal credit, which amounts to just over £10 per day.
We applied to 6 different funding streams, including the Samaritans, National Lottery, Groundworks, Croydon Council and the National Emergency Covid Fund. We are thrilled to say that ALL were successful and so far we have raised just over £7500 to support tenants.
Here’s a look at what we have achieved so far…
- 134 food boxes delivered to tenants’ homes, in partnership with FoodPoint:Each box contains £35 worth of fresh food and non-perishable items delivered each week to tenants front doors.
- 74 Tesco vouchers and 51 food vouchers
- 20 sets of skipping ropes and T-shirts: These have been delivered to our Caridon Foundation Eagles football team, an adult mental health football team, who were previously meeting weekly with the disability coaches from Crystal Palace – Palace for Life Foundation. Due to social distancing measures, so we have been finding ways to keep the team mentally stimulated and physically fit. They have been posting videos of their ‘stay at home’ fitness efforts.
- 60 x £40top-up of electricity
- 23 additional electricity top-ups
- 6 mobile phones and 7 ‘pay as you go’ top up vouchers
- Donations of a Dongle and Freeview box to help those who are socially isolated. The dongle enabled one of our tenants, who is currently doing a degree in social work, to continue with her studies whilst the library he usually attends is closed.
- Donation of a microwave and iron to new tenants who were previously rough sleeping
- £36,524 raised in unclaimed benefits and complex tribunal work – since lockdown (22/03/2020)
- Extended counselling to Brent and Harlow– from one day per week to 2.5 days per week (seen 230% increase in demand for counselling with our therapist)
- Housing rough sleepers: Working closely with Croydon Council to house people who are rough sleeping during the pandemic. We have had to adapt the way we do this by conducting interviews and assessments by phone and with virtual viewings and working with councils to allow licence agreements to be signed ‘virtually’.
- Private rented initiative in Leatherhead: The council contacted us about this initiative. 30 brand new one-bed flats with similar security as council properties were available through a private landlord. Seven of our tenants were selected and are moving to their new homes on Monday 8th June. Caridon Foundation is funding the vans to help with the removals. This will then free up seven flats for new tenants who are currently homeless and have low to medium support needs.