Thousands of residents are signing up to enjoy everything from eBooks to fitness sessions; educational courses to healthy living tips, as the council moves to offer a wide range of services and activities online.
Staff across the council are going above and beyond to make services and sessions available online while council buildings are closed.
The online library provision is already proving popular, with a 40 percent surge in library card applications since the start of lockdown. More than 460 residents have signed up for library cards online, gaining instant access to 40,000 audiobooks and eBooks, a host of magazines and newspapers, movies, music videos and more.
JustBe, the council’s health advice service, is providing tips and advice to help people maintain healthy lifestyles at home during lockdown. Residents can also stay fit with GLL, who run the council’s leisure centres. They are now offering free access to all their virtual classes through their Better app which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.
Residents looking to develop a new skill can learn anything from a new language to IT and computing by enrolling in an online course with CALAT, the borough’s adult education centre.
The council’s culture team is supporting creative groups across the borough to offer their programmes in new ways. The £135k Cultural Relief Fund offers help to cultural organisations in danger of closing and supports programme funding for cultural activities during the health crisis.
This fund will enable creative groups to follow in the steps of the London Mozart Players and Scene in Croydon who have already organised performances and art challenges for residents at home.
Meanwhile the Museum of Croydon is offering an online exhibition to enable guests to enjoy its collection, even while the museum is closed.
“We are committed to making sure Croydon’s residents can still benefit from as many services and opportunities as possible, even though venues have had to close.
“During this challenging period we want to support all our residents to stay healthy and well, both physically and mentally so we’ve tried to offer something for everyone from exercise classes and healthy living tips, to opportunities to discover new books from our online library platform or learn new skills.”
Councillor Oliver Lewis, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport