Croydon Night Watch are based at the Quaker meeting house and were looking for volunteers owing to many of their regulars being elderly and so avoiding human contact. Lots of people turned up, including me. They help the homeless and others in Croydon, handing out ready-to-eat meals and also packaged goods for people to take away with them. Their logo says “caring for homeless people in Croydon since 1976”, but in practice they don’t just deal with the homeless. Anyone desperate enough for free food to show up in a public park alongside alcoholics and junkies got some.
Around twenty of us made sandwiches, filled bags with packaged food (tins and dried pasta, so poor quality but filling; the more local food bank I’ve been helping out at does much better food), and then distributed it. There were also groups of volunteers from one of the local Sikh temples and one of the mosques. It irks me that its the churches and other houses of superstition that have got their shit together and are getting things done, and that secular organisations aren’t. I’ve not heard a peep from my MP or his local party organisation, for example, who were supposedly trying to organise people.
The Night Watch (and just saying that tickles me pink) now have my details and will call on me when they’re short-handed over the next few weeks. I think they were a bit surprised at how many newbies turned up, and so we’ll be split up to work in small groups alongside more experienced volunteers. Having some more experienced people when we’re doing handouts would be wise, as it was a bit chaotic. But everyone got stuff, and there were no fights, so I count that as a victory.