East Croydon Cool talks…Coronavirus (and Community, Culture & Creativity)

East Croydon Cool was set up to showcase all the great things about Croydon. As a community marketing platform (incorporating a website, social media channels, merchandise range, events programme and e-zine) it aims to inform people on what’s going on at local businesses, keep people updated on local events and foster a sense of local pride. During a period of regeneration, it helps forge relationships between Croydoners to ensure the community continues to shine as brightly as its new buildings do.

Never did we imagine that we’d end up discussing a pandemic.

And largely, we won’t be. We’ll leave that to the experts.

But the coming weeks and months will highlight more than ever, the importance of community, culture and creativity. And that IS something we know a bit about.

Whilst Community was traditionally always associated with people living, working and socialising together IRL, the internet changed things. Technology has enabled the strengthening of more obvious community groups and also helped develop virtual communities (by bringing people together not in person, but online via their common interests). A community (whether offline or online) is powerful and countless evidence reminds us we can achieve more collectively than we can individually. In a time when people are feeling out of control, community can provide a sense of support, of belonging and of influence. Croydon has always had a strong sense of community and at East Croydon Cool, we hope to leverage the online community we have built to help local residents, businesses, entrepreneurs and workers in as many ways as possible.

In terms of Culture and Creativity, Croydon is ahead of the curve (we won Borough of Culture 2023 by demonstrating it!). Creativity is going to be a vital skill in these new times; both in terms of dealing with new problems and in keeping sane. People are going to need new types of cultural and creative activities to keep them entertained and we are confident Croydon’s people and organisations will find ways in which to provide it. East Croydon Cool aims to leverage our online community to showcase Croydon’s culture and creativity during this time.

Whilst not wanting to trivialise the seriousness of the medical implications, we know the economic, social and mental health impacts of Coronavirus will also be huge.  We want to do as much as possible to support local businesses and residents. So in addition to our day-to-day role of promoting what’s going on in the local area, we will also be working on a range of community focused creative projects.

Our current projects are detailed below.

This is new territory, and perhaps not everything we do will help, but we’re going to give as much as we can a try.

So if you’re working on a project which might benefit from our support or want to collaborate on something new, drop us an email on info@eastcroydoncool.co.uk and we’ll see what we can do.


Project One: #LocalsLoveLocally campaign
This is a social media campaign, backed by a dedicated page on our website. It encourages Croydon residents to support local businesses during the Coronavirus by highlighting specific ways in which they can help them. A listing on the East Croydon Cool website details the business’s special offers and activations and these are also shared on social media channels using the unique hashtag #LocalsLoveLocally. The campaign essentially offers Croydon businesses the opportunity to promote themselves to a wider audience for free. This campaign is being run in partnership with local community fundraiser, Hannah Sayers, who provides support to communities for projects that improve local heritage, leisure, culture and greenspaces. For more information on this project, CLICK HERE.

Project Two: Self Isolation Tips
Local resident and graphic designer, Georgina Marmoy, has created a series of Self-Isolation templates that people can share to demonstrate how they can help others. We’ve taken her Self-Isolation Tips template and shared with a few creative locals to get their innovative ideas on what to do when stuck indoors. We are sharing these on our Insta-Stories (and highlights) so if you’re looking for some indoor inspiration, check these out. Got a tip of your own? Complete the template, share on social and tag us in and we’ll help spread the word.

Project Three: The £1 Thumbs Up
This is a simple fundraising project to encourage East Croydon Cool Instagram followers to donate £1 to NHS Croydon Health Services. To learn more about this campaign, click here.

Project Four: The Fitness with Fernando Takeover
We’re teaming up with local fitness expert Fernando, to help cooped up Croydoners stretch their muscles at the end of another long week in lockdown. For more info, CLICK HERE

Project Five: #CroydonMugs WFH Photo Competition
Run in partnership with local Barista, Mr Tinto, this photo competition encourages locals to share a photo of their #CroydonMugs to show that whilst we might all be working from home, we’re not alone. Three winners will be selected based on artistic merit, creativity and amusement value and will receive a month’s worth of coffee each from Mr Tinto. For more info, CLICK HERE.

Project Six: Croydon Style (with ASBO Magazine)
Run in partnership with ASBO Magazine (the alternative style and culture magazine founded in Croydon) this competition encouraged locals to ditch their lockdown looks, open up their wardrobes and share photos of their #CroydonStyle. The best photos would be featured in the magazine later in the year. For more info, CLICK HERE.

Project Seven: Indoor Plant competition (in partnership with Knttd)
With the ongoing press attention about the mental health benefits of having (and looking after!) indoor plants during lockdown, we’ve partnered with Knttd, a handcrafted and eco-friendly knitted planters business based here in Croydon, to ask residents to show us their urban jungles (or beginnings of them!). The competition asks people to share photos on Instagram (using #LockdownPlanter and tagging in @Knttd_London) to win a beautiful knitted planter for one of their plant babies.  For more info, CLICK HERE.

Project Eight: Croydon Yoga Hub Takeover
With Lockdown 3 continuing to take its toll, we’re focusing Valentines weekend on Self-Love and Self-Care and have teamed up with Croydon Yoga Hub to offer a free live yoga session. For more info, CLICK HERE.

Project Nine: Learn how to make the perfect Cup of Coffee (A Mr Tinto Takeover)
As the WFH coffee break continues on, we’ve joined forces with specialist coffee roaster, Mr Tinto, to show Croydoners how to make the perfect cup at home. Participants of this free, interactive live takeover will receive a  packet of Mr Tinto coffee to use during the 20 minute session which will include an introduction to Columbian coffee beans, how to set up a coffee station at home and the different types of brewing. For more info, CLICK HERE.

Project Ten: Table for Six!
As lockdown starts to ease, we’re keen to help residents re-connect with other locals (IN REAL LIFE!) again. We also want to show support to the local hospitality venues who have lost out on trade during all of this. So we are arranging a series of ‘Table for Six’ meet ups – to bring together a group of six local residents who work in the creative disciplines. These small meet ups are being held in The Store, Basil & Grape and Matthew’s Yard. See the EVENTS page for more details.

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