Great Croft Health & Positive Living Hub is a day centre based in King’s Cross which offers a range of activities for older adults. Local residents recently nominated Great Croft (part of Age UK Camden) in recognition of their work since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
We spoke with centre manager Abul Choudhury about the support Great Croft have offered the people they work with, as well as the wider community.
What challenges has Great Croft faced?
We’ve problem-solved as issues have come up. For example, when delivering food we realised that some people weren’t answering their doors, and worked out that it was because their hearing aids had run out of batteries. Once we knew that, we could sort it out.
We’ve had issues like needing to fundraise, but we’ve received huge support from Camden Council, and think we’ve managed well working with the public sector, voluntary and community organisations and our communities. But of course it’s been a difficult and emotional time. I’ve lost people close to me to Covid. I’ve put my energy into helping other people because that’s who I am.
What is the main thing you have learned from the pandemic period?
I’ve learned that our greatest asset is our people in Camden. Voluntary organisations, charities, the Council and other organisations came together and continue to be very important to the community.
This crisis might not be the last one, so Camden needs to not forget what it’s learnt during this one: the people who came and helped.
What one change would make the greatest difference for Camden as we come out of the pandemic?
I think organisations continuing to work together – the voluntary and community sector, the Council, and more – is the key to success in Camden going forward and making sure no one gets left behind.
Is there an organisation or group you would like to see recognised for their support for people in Camden during the pandemic?
I would like to thank the ward councillors, who didn’t hesitate to get on the case when people needed them. I am so grateful to them and people who work at the Council, especially Camden libraries staff and others who worked from the centre helping with food distribution.