Party fever swept over the Whitgift Almshouses in the heart of Croydon’s town centre as residents and guests celebrated their annual Garden Party on Saturday 30th August.

Behind the Almshouses’ iconic blue gates on North End, a live band entertained guests at the Commonwealth Games themed party with classic tunes whilst young and old mingled together.

The courtyard was transformed into a hive of activity with stalls selling residents’ homemade jams, chutneys and knitwear, as well as, brick-a-brac, tombola and raffle stalls.

An elephant racing stall was enthusiastically run by Dan Harris, 10, who having undergone lifesaving heart surgery  earlier this year, now features in the British Heart Foundation’s ‘Help Little Hero’s Get Back to School’ national campaign to fund heart research.

This year, the residents raised over £1000 with funds going towards the British Heart Foundation’s campaign and the residents’ own social fund.

Margaret Dickens, Almshouses resident, commented, “Despite the rain clouds threatening, there was a real buzz in the Almshouses courtyard for this year’s garden party with music and conversation across the generations. I would like to thank all who helped out to make this year’s event a wonderful success raising important funds for charity, with a special thank you to our Wardens for their hard work, commitment and energy.”

The Whitgift Almshouses is home to 15 residents over the age of 60 and was built in 1596 by Archbishop John Whitgift, the founder of The Whitgift Foundation.

There are currently vacancies at the Whitgift Almshouses. To apply, contact or visit

Pictured: Wardens Michelle and Jovita, present a prize to William, 3, for winning the fancy dress competition.