Queen’s Crescent Community Association

Queen’s Crescent Community Association

Queen’s Crescent Community Association 2560 1558 WeMakeCamden

Supporting Camden residents through the cost of living crisis

Queen’s Crescent Community Association (QCCA) provides a range of free services in Gospel Oak. We spoke to Sarolta who leads QCCA’s food bank, and Belinda, Khadija and Michele, who deliver and lead the organisation’s advice and advocacy service.

What services do you offer at QCCA?

We provide a range of free services and activities for residents of all ages – including young people aged 8 to 19 and older residents over 55. For older residents, we offer free lunches, coffee mornings, bingo and plenty of opportunities to stay active – like samba workshops, tai chi, chair-based exercise, and gym sessions.

For younger residents, there are plenty of sports on offer, we have a youth club and we support young people to find jobs and work experience. We also have a food bank and provide a range of support services for residents who are struggling with issues including housing and money worries.

A female volunteer smiles at the camera with big crates of carrots, onions and potatoes in front of her for the food bank.
QCCA's food bank is run by volunteers every Thursday

Please could you tell us a bit more about the food bank?

During the pandemic, we started delivering food packages to residents who were shielding and couldn’t leave the house. As COVID restrictions were eased and the cost of living was becoming increasingly expensive, many residents still needed help with food, so we started a food bank. It’s open every Thursday, 1pm to 4pm, and tickets are distributed from 10am.

The food bank is run by an amazing group of volunteers who tell us that they love volunteering – for some, it helps them find a community of like-minded people, and others enjoy the feeling of giving back.

What kind of advice and advocacy services do you offer?

We support residents to navigate application processes and forms that will help them with housing issues and money advice. For example, bidding for homes, and applying for benefits, benefits and hardship grants. If we’re not able to help residents ourselves, we will put them in touch with a suitable organisation.

We also find that while residents may come to us for advice with one issue, they are often struggling in other areas – and particularly with housing, debt, money worries or their mental/physical health. So we try our best to get a holistic view of what’s going on so we can help residents access support with everything they’re going through.

We always try to see people who need us as quickly as possible, but if we are really busy there may be a bit of a wait for an appointment.

Khadija smiles at the camera standing inside one of QCCA's offices
Khadija provides residents with advice and advocacy

How can Camden residents support your work?

  1. Sign up to volunteer – we’d love some more people to join our fantastic team of volunteers – and it’s a great opportunity to make some new friends. If you have a couple of hours a week to spare, email Sarolta@qcca.org.uk
  2. Donate food or other items – as the weather gets colder, we’re also seeing demand for our food bank rise with many more people needing our help with food. We know it’s a difficult time for so many people but if you have the means to do so, we accept donations of food and other items from 10am to 5pm every weekday. We’re especially keen to receive pantry staples – like tinned food and proteins, pasta, rice, coffee and toiletries like shower gel and toothpaste. We’re always keen to receive baby items too, like nappies and baby milk.
  3. Donate whatever you can afford at qcca.org.uk/donate

QCCA received support from the Council’s Cost of Living Crisis Community Response Fund | Learn more about the fund

Find out more

See all of the events or activities on offer at Queen’s Crescent Community Association at qcca.org.uk, call 020 7267 6635 or pop along and chat to a member of the team any week day from 10am to 5pm.

You can also find QCCA at 45 Ashdown Crescent, NW5 4QE. Opening hours are 10am to 6pm every weekday.

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