GIG BUDDIES LAUNCHED IN CROYDON
A scheme that helps people with learning disabilities or autism attend gigs, plays or other live events is being launched in Croydon thanks to a successful council funding bid.
Volunteers are being sought to get involved with the Gig Buddies project, which will match them to an adult with a learning disability who find it difficult to get out and about on their own to enjoy live music, theatre, or comedy.
The project is being launched at Boxpark between 5pm and 7pm on 5 September, with DJs from the long-established Club Soda team on the decks. The evening is free, and everyone is welcome to attend.
Dennis Ellis, club goer, said: “I love going out but it can be really difficult. Having a gig buddy will really give me the confidence to be able to enjoy myself.”
Paul Barnard, Volunteer, said: “Most people take going to gigs and shows for granted. But for those with disabilities it can be a daunting experience if they have to go on their own. I got involved with this scheme because it means I can help someone do the things they love without fear.”
Gig Buddies was originally set up by the Brighton-based charity Stay Up Late, who have chosen Croydon as one of ten national partners to roll the scheme out across the country.
Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure, and sport, said: “Nobody should be denied the pleasure of a good night out – and this project is an excellent example of how Croydon looks out for the needs of those with disabilities and learning difficulties.”
Club Soda will run ‘Gig Buddies Croydon’ in partnership with Croydon Council’s Learning Disability Commissioning Team. The team will help promote the use of person-centred approaches and will give training to all gig buddies.
For more information about how to get involved with the scheme, go to: www.gigbuddiescroydon.co.uk. (Source: Croydon council press release)
SCAMMERS DISAPPEAR WITH PENSIONERS £27,000 LIFE SAVINGS
A quote for clearing the guttering of an elderly man’s Norbury home quickly escalated to the point where he handed over £27,000 in cash to a bogus company operating from a central London accommodation address.
Croydon council’s trading standards department is warning residents to beware of what appears to be a reputable company called Kings Home Improvements Ltd that states its address as being 2 London Bridge Walk, London SE1 2SX.
The scam came to light when the vulnerable 84-year-old was talked into full replacement of the gutters and improvement of the loft space by replacing the joists and putting down boards to provide a safe walking surface.
The company representative left an impressive calling card, detailing the services offered by his firm, phone numbers, and website and email addresses.
The company twice failed to turn up on agreed dates to start the work, and, upon reflection, the householder decided that, as he very rarely went up into the loft, he would cancel the upgrade. He expected a large refund from the £27,000 he had handed over.
The company then claimed it had paid £7,000 tax for materials bought to do the work and demanded reimbursement of that sum from him, assuring him that he would be able to claim it from the tax office.
He did not hand over the requested £7,000 but neither did he receive the refund he expected.
Cllr Hamida Ali, Croydon’s cabinet member for communities, safety and justice, said: “This is a truly dreadful case of heartless rogues taking a vulnerable older man, who has no immediate family, for everything they could.
“It’s probably too late for this victim, who’s unlikely to have his money returned, but I’d warn everyone else to be aware of this scam, and be wary of anyone offering household repairs or building work and claiming to work for this company.
“It’s important to remember that the Kings Home Improvements Ltd that claims to be based at 2 London Bridge Walk has no links to other companies with the same or a similar name.”
Three things that residents can do if they suspect they are the target of a scam.
Get advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service online at www.citizensadvice.org.uk or by calling 03454 040506.
Report scams and suspected scams to Action Fraud online at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. Reporting can help prevent it happening to others. If debit cards, online banking or cheques are involved in the scam, the consumer’s first step should be to contact their bank or card company.
Tell family, friends and neighbours, so that they are aware and can avoid scams. (Source: Croydon council press release)