Paul Harris Fellowship in New Addington

From our experience working with charities in New Addington during the pandemic we identified an exceptional example of community leadership which we have recognised with a Paul Harris fellowship award.

Paul Harris Fellowship Presentation Award

When the first lockdown began, we realised that some families were going to be in severe difficulties and members of the club used their contacts to identify local organisations we could assist with funds raised by events like our Christmas collections.

In New Addington we started by providing an additional freezer to Good Food Matters so that they could increase their capacity for storing meals they prepared prior to delivery to people struggling to feed themselves. We also made donations to the New Addington Baptist Church Community Family Project for the food parcels they were delivering sometimes on an extended basis to families in great need of this assistance.

As time went on, we became aware of the network of organisations at work in the area including the Vine food Bank, The Salvation Army and local authority agencies. It became evident that each had different capabilities and there were frequent opportunities for clients to be referred on from one to another.

Intrigued by this we asked Baptist Minister Claire Nicholls to talk to one of our weekly Zoom meetings about her role as chair of the committee which meets every month to bring these organisations together and coordinate their activity and maximise the benefits they bring to the community.

As we began to emerge from the latter stages of lockdown, we made a further donation to the Community Family Project in Arnhem Drive to assist with the furnishing and provisioning of the newly expanded Community Cafe.

On Wednesday 24th November a number of us visited the cafe and learned how it hosts the Crafty Needles group on Tuesdays and the Poppy Cafe on Wednesdays for those who suffer from poor mental health amongst other activities.

It was on this occasion Past President Peter Townsend presented the Paul Harris Fellowship Award for her exceptional Community Leadership initiative. In her response to the Club Claire said: I also wanted to express thanks for the presentation you made to me. I'm overwhelmed and it only sunk in really after you all left how much this means. I work in an amazing community with some brilliant people who love the people they walk with every day. It's been a privilege to work with them all.

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Paul Harris Fellowship Presentation Award

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