A high-profile sponsored abseil 250 feet down Taberner House in central Croydon had to be cancelled yesterday – because the organisers’ ropes were too short.
Nearly 100 locals, many of them teenagers, had signed up for the “Jump Croydon” event with Croydon Commitment, a council-backed charity which, as Inside Croydon reported last month, has been warned over its failure to file its financial reports on time with the Charity Commission.
Participants had been charged £20 to take part in the abseil, and were expected to raise at least £100.
But when they turned up at the former Croydon Council head offices yesterday morning, “Jump Croydon” risked becoming “Splat Croydon”, because the pro abseilers hired to run the event had come ill-equipped for the task.
The poorly planned abseil came less than 24 hours after the wash-out that was “Celebrate Croydon”, the thinly attended street festival “organised” by another council-backed agency, Grey Label, and paid for with thousands of pounds from the riot recovery fund.
Croydon Commitment has successfully staged abseiling stunts off the Mott MacDonald building and Jurys Inn recently, claiming to have raised £14,000 from one event.
But which good causes actually benefit from the money raised at the Croydon Commitment events remains unclear.
Inside Croydon was contacted by one wannabe abseiler who said that no good causes had been specified to them by the charity. As we reported recently, in 2012, while £71,000 was spent by Croydon Commitment on staging “corporate social responsibility” events for businesses including Westfield, the Whitgift Foundation and Croydon Council, according to the charity’s own figures not a penny was paid out to good causes or volunteer groups in that year.
Participants who booked for yesterday’s abseil have been left in the dark over what happens with the sponsorship they have raised and the fees paid to Croydon Commitment.
“The abseiling company brought poor quality ropes and the replacements didn’t arrive until 3pm, so it was too late to do it,” Inside Croydon’s loyal reader said.
“It is being rescheduled for next Friday I think but all a bit woolly.” Many keen participants will be unable to attend the new date because of prior commitments, including mock A level exams, our reader said, who finds it all “very disappointing”.
No doubt the Glee Club will put a positive spin on the latest half-arsed Croydon balls-up: after all, at least nobody died.
Coming to Croydon
- Strange Air book talk, Upper Norwood Joint Library: Dec 14
- Cinema Ruskin: Dec 21
- Steve Knightly at Stanley Halls: Feb 5
- Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough – 262,183 page views (Jan-Jun 2013)
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