It is a day of cease-fire and non-violence. More info visit:

The Croydon Peace Tree wants you to send in your peace day message and we will TWEET them on our page @CroydonPeace throughout peace day. Got a message? Just send your short message and first name on facebook, or EMAIL:

Please share this message if you can. This a chance for you to share your peace day message with the community and be apart of something special. Thank you for the support ūüôā

A random competition to test your Croydon knowledge! All we need from you is to mention the place* this picture was taken in Croydon.Can you tell us where in Croydon this picture was taken?

If you think you know, email your answer to with your name AND account name on Facebook or Twitter (read RULES below for more information). All the correct answers will go right to the prize draw where a ¬†WINNER will be chosen at random. It’s all in the name of fun and the winner will get a little prize out of it too (Perfume from Dubai!). Make sure you read the RULES…

* A good enough description of the ‘place’ – could either be a¬†detailed description of the specific location or the name of the road.


1- You must be from the UK. If you are under the age of 16, you must have permission from your parent/guardian to enter this competition.

2- You must ‘like’ OR ‘follow’ the Croydon Peace Tree on either Facebook or Twitter AND must include your account name on either networking site when you email your answer.

3- Deadline for entering the competition is Friday 15th February 2013, MIDNIGHT.

4- The winner will have their choice to have their name publicly announced in order to preserve their right to privacy.

5- The winner must confirm their address details via email within 48 hours of us contacting them.

Have fun. It’s a random thing I know, but just go with it ūüôā ¬†Feel free¬†to share this with anyone you know. Thank you! ūüôā

Croydon charity, Age UK, is having bobble day on the 8th of February.Read the letter (below) to know how you can get involved! Please feel free to share this information with anyone you know!

Thank you.


Dear Friend

wear your favourite jumper for Bobble Day on 8th February 2013 & donate min £2.00

On Friday the 8 February 2013, offices, schools, churches and community groups all over the country will be looking smug and cosy, modelling their favourite winter wear.


What is Bobble Day

It is an opportunity for you to wear a favourite jumper, buy a ‚ÄúBobble‚ÄĚ and donate a minimum of ¬£2 to Age UK Croydon. Your support will benefit older people in this borough and all monies raised will enable us to raise awareness, provide advice and information (advocacy) services and offer free events.


Why get involved

Bobble Day is a platform to raise awareness of older people and their many issues; isolation, loneliness, health aliments (dementia), needs to stay active, help to remain independent and ways to stay safe and not fall.

Did you know that over half a million older people in the UK spent last Christmas alone? Our recent survey at Age UK Croydon showed that 85% of those using our service lived alone and had no family in this country. Others only saw family/relatives yearly.

Last year Age UK Croydon helped 15,000 older people and put £700,000 in what would have been unclaimed claimed benefits back into their pockets. With your donation whatever the amount, this coming year these figures can increase.

Winter can be such a sad and lonely time for older people. The days are short. Older people are scared to turn on their heating and they sit at home alone, not able to get out or scared to, especially when we have weather like snow and the consequences that follow on from these. Age UK Croydon aims to change that by empowering Older People with information, offering them free activities and events, so their days are meaningful.

What can you do

You can help by putting on an event on our behalf; forfeit a meal and donate the money saved. However creative you can be, staff at Age UK Croydon will be willing to support your event. It does not have to be held on the 8 February, so let us know your plans.

Pull on that jumper and donate!


Contact us on 0208 680 5450 or visit our website to find out more. Together, we can raise awareness, give advice and support to older people, and their issues within the borough of Croydon.

Valerie with MP Ottaway at the House of the Lords in October.

Valerie with MP Ottaway at the House of the Lords in October.

 by Aishah Mehmood (reporter for the Croydon Peace Tree)

Croydon artist and anti gun and knife campaigner Valerie Beddington-Hooker is trying to promote a unique project. A project she wishes to embed within the national educational curriculum, through her paintings entitled ‚ÄėDisarming Innocence‚Äô. The aim is to educate and bring a rise of discussion and debate within all classrooms throughout the UK on the issues of gun and knife crime.

Some paintings from ‘Disarming Innocence’.

‚ÄėDisarming Innocence‚Äô was recently exhibited at the House of Lords in October. The paintings resonated many positive responses, to which, Richard Ottaway, MP of Croydon South hoped “many young people will have the opportunity to see them and reflect on the powerful messages”.The thought-provoking paintings reveal the brutal truth of life on the streets. Loosely based on the Stations of the Cross, its fifteen metres in length and in the form of a Medieval Altar piece.

Horrified by the levels of gun and knife crime affecting many young people today, Valerie explains that ‚Äúour society has serious issues to deal with and my series of paintings are a tool which can be used to raise awareness amongst young people of the terrible dangers that exist today. If only one life is saved as a result of this work, it will have served its purpose‚ÄĚ. In this case, art is not distanced from the public, by being hung only in art galleries, but rather art hopes to inspire students in the classroom to reflect upon issues that affect our society. Supported on the project by Brigitte Landon who has twenty-five years experience in Education and Public relations, Valerie intends to make the exhibition available to all schools, community colleges and educational establishments within the UK. The aim is to also develop and provide a teaching package, which would be age appropriate for seven and thirteen year olds. This package includes a DVD based on the sequence, utilising animation and music to engage and influence young people. Another possibility is to also develop a fully interactive website, which would provide a mechanism for young people who might be at risk of gun and knife crime, to confidentially seek support if they need to.¬†

The project hopes to partner with other organisations to combat issues that affect gun and knife crime, as well as making the package available to them. At the present moment, Valerie is currently seeking support and guidance from individuals within parliament and the educational community to make this project possible. As the project will be run on a ‚Äėnot for profit basis‚Äô, funding is desperately needed.

Valerie asks for your support in making this project a possibility. For more information on Valerie and ‚ÄėDisarming Innocence‚Äô please visit the following links:

For more information on the Croydon Peace Tree, which did a cover to this story, please visit:

by Aishah M

Every time I travel on the trams to East Croydon, I always pass by two bright green billboards.What do they refer to? A change being made in Croydon. Those billboards have been in Croydon’s sight for over a year now. Now every time I pass by those billboards, I actually sigh in disappointment. It’s because I end up asking myself: where are these changes? Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m not one of those armchair philosophers. I don’t sit in a leather armchair, bragging about what should be done, believing I have all the answers.¬†Rather, I’m one of those frustrated individuals hoping someone might be able to grace some change within Croydon very soon. Like it or not, politicians have this power. Wait.¬†Don’t stop reading this, if you think I’m gonna tell you who to vote for in the Croydon North Elections this Thursday (29th November). I can’t tell you who to vote for.

But this is a post on the subject of politics. Let’s imagine a see-saw that represents the dichotomies towards the responses to politics and politicians. One on side we have the pro-politics bunch and on the other we have the anti-politics bunch. Now, I can’t help but¬†find myself in the middle. I don’t really see myself joining any side, but I still find myself moving up and down!

When I was younger,I remember someone once told me a joke. The joke was about politics. Now that probably didn’t come as much surprise for some of you! But listen to this joke, the question was: ‘what does politics mean?’, the answer was ‘poly= many’ and ‘tics= blood sucking creatures’! Okay, I admit it. That was a pretty nerdy joke, but the point is, it showed me when I was younger what many of us thought about politics. I’ve been those in the middle because in many cases I have found many politicians to be those Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde individuals. When I think of the idea of a just leader, I refer back to Socrates’¬†description of a good leader in The Republic. A good leader is not one who cares about himself, but rather the needs of others. That is what a good leader should be like. But today, it seems greed feeds the egos of a lot of politicians.

But at the end of the day, I can’t dispute¬†with¬†this fact: decisions politicians make inevitably affect me. That is what puts me in the middle again. Then I worry about those who don’t vote at all. Just think about this. If you hate politics in general, because you feel no change has ever been met, then why not vote? Since the person who will become elected will affect you at the end of the day! You won’t lose¬†much. Also, if you feel you have some of the ideas to make some changes in your community, then why not arrange an appointment at the surgery with that politician? Remember, politicians aren’t telepathic. Worse comes to worse, you can always¬†say you tried. That’s all we really can do, try.

Remember we all have a voice and we are entitled to our own political or no political opinion. I just hope many of us don’t lose faith in the political system by those Mr Hyde’s. What do I mean by ‘political system’ you might ask. I mean, a system that tries to raise our hopes of creating a difference within society.¬† I sincerely hope¬†whoever gets elected as the MP of Croydon North, makes a positive difference to Croydon for its citizens.

Thank you for reading this.