The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic represented an unprecedented challenge to our community, bringing intense pressure and radical change to organisations and to all of us as individuals.

John Whitgift Foundation was founded in 1596 with our core beliefs being to Serve, Care and Excel in all that we do.

We are providing vital support to the people of Croydon during these incredibly challenging times by working together to support community and individuals through our three foundation schools, Whitgift Care, our three care settings, and the Carers Information Service.

PPE for the NHS

Our three Foundation schools have all pulled together to do some fantastic work over during the pandemic. Both Whitgift and Trinity have provided much needed PPE for local healthcare professionals, donating goggles from their Science departments and using their 3D printers to produce protective visors for Croydon University Hospital NHS staff.

More than 1,000 visors have been distributed to various healthcare organisations across the borough. Trinity DT department has also joined in the efforts and have circulated the design to other local schools.

Keeping in touch during lockdown

One of the biggest restrictions of the pandemic was not being able to visit family and friends. This was felt even more acutely within our care homes, as older people, and those with pre-existing medication conditions, are classed as high-risk from coronavirus. To help keep our residents in touch with their families, our staff organised regular video calls for resident and their relatives. These calls were a lifeline for the residents and has really improved their well-being.

Pen pal project

While our care staff embraced new technology, pupils from Old Palace reprised a much-loved tradition by taking part in a pen pal project, as students wrote letters to our Whitgift Care residents to help keep them occupied during lockdown.

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Support for Carers

Our Carers Information Service, which provides advice to an estimated 33,000 carers in Croydon, continues to deliver support to those in real need, especially helping many who are still shielding and have very limited contact with the outside world.

The service also celebrated Carers Week an annual event that aims to raise awareness for carers. This year’s theme was ‘Making Carers Visible’, and despite the Carers Support Centre being closed, a week of events was run remotely and on-demand, including meditation classes, talks and advice sessions.

Carers support

Transport for care workers

Our schools have also provided vital transport for members of the Whitgift Care staff, as well as supporting Croydon Voluntary Action to help deliver essential supplies to the community.

Staff from Whitgift Care showed their thanks to Whitgift School by presenting Andy Marlow, Director of Community at Whitgift School, with a token of their appreciation.