December 20, 2023

In the heart of Croydon, the Manju Shahul Hameed Foundation for Mental Health organised a remarkable event that brightened the lives of many homeless and less fortunate people in our community. At the West Croydon Methodist Church, on the 20 th December 2023, the charity not only shared the Christmas spirit but also extended tangible warmth, by distributing Christmas gifts. Established in 2017, this foundation orchestrated an incredible event, echoing sentiments of care and kindness towards the community.

Nigel Godfrey, a familiar face at the event, expressed profound gratitude, stating,“This is absolute first class.”. For Nigel, and many others like him, the Foundation served as a beacon of hope during challenging times, providing not just sustenance but also care and support. Monica Rhoden, another resident, echoed this sentiment, praising the Foundation’s fantastic work and unwavering support. “I love coming here. The work they do is fantastic, and they are very caring.”

The homeless people were not only given gifts but food as well. This is something we all take for granted but this event sparked a realisation that many of us are so blessed to have this necessity and it’s such a great deed to share this blessing with the rest of the community. This act of benevolence was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the Crown &  Pepper restaurant and Grand Sapphire. Sponsor Raj Shukla of the Crown & Pepper restaurant emphasized the importance of giving back to the community as he said, ‘We have been doing these charity events for years. We are giving back to the community and to the people who need it’.

As Revd Andy Dovey, Lead of Chaplaincy & Spiritual Care with Bereavement Services at Croydon University Hospital said, “As we reflect on the Christmas Story, we should reflect on the life of Mary and Joseph who were like many in the world homeless and in desperate search for shelter, clothing and food. The volunteers involved in the event, offered the same help to the homeless and less fortunate people in Croydon as was offered to Mary and Joseph which made this a very successful event.”

In its six-year journey, the Manju Shahul-Hameed Foundation has crafted a legacy of positivity and community support. It has displayed that by extending a helping hand, no matter how small, we can enlighten the lives of those grappling with homelessness and hardship.

In conclusion, the Manju Shahul-Hameed Foundation stands as an example to the power of cooperative goodwill and unity. Their unwavering devotion brightens a trail of sympathy, reminding us that by aiding the homeless, we pave the way for a more all-encompassing and loving society. Let us continue to embrace this spirit, not just during celebrations but all through the year, determined to make a positive change in the lives of individuals in need.

Shradha Unnithan