Following requests from residents CREst are holding an additional Foodbank from noon until 2pm on  Saturday 19th December.
This will be open to serve CRE residents and those in the surrounding area.
We would appreciate it if this could be publicised throughout Norbiton 
Many thanks 
Jill Preston

Managing Norbiton’s Needy and Homeless 2020

Dr Mike D’Souza Chair of One  Norbiton & Jill Preston Chair of CREst

In 2018 we published our first report on Norbiton’s Homeless. What follows is a brief update analysis of all attendees at CREst’s Tuesday Luncheon club and our own future proposals.


This is a survey of 154 Tuesday Club attenders. It confirms that Norbiton’s needy and homeless people have multiple psychosocial problems. Attenders are mostly young male adults. Over 30% report having had severe trauma during their upbringing and ongoing stress  since, leading to chronic mental, physical  and social ill-heath.

  • 57% report recent homelessness,
  • 31% Abuse, 30% Depression, 
  • 29% PTSD, 
  • 25% anxiety, 
  • 14% Psychosis and 
  • 14%  personality disorder and arrested maturity.

                High proportions suffer from addictions:  

  • Cocaine 37%, 
  • Opiates 42% and 
  • Alcohol 53%. 
  • Measurement of their Quality of life using Thymometrynot unexpectedly, showed it to bedramatically lower than that reported by the rest of RBK’s general population. See graph above.

Despite their behaviour attracting little public sympathy, they clearly merit being prioritised for help. Because their current cost to the public purse is so high, providing better services could prove to be a very  cost-effective investment, and we should begin by improving services to our vulnerable pre-schoolers. Because of the Covid crisis, they are at last being provided with reliable shelter and adequate food. Our hope is that this survey will be of some help to RBK in developing joint plans with other agencies to secure a better future for them in the long term. 


Since 2017 over 550 individuals, both clients and helpers,  have now attended CREst’s Tuesday Lunch Clubs. 154 of these have agreed to fill in analysis forms often on more than one occasion for a small “incentive” fee (£2) provided by private research funds.


80% (123) were Male.  66% were aged between 25 and 65yrs. Sadly 2% died young during the study. 

Housing & Other Problems

57% (88) reported having been Homeless at some time during the period of Analysis

46% were not homeless but gave us a KT post code Only 2 were from out of borough (TW)

5% reported being illiterate or having language difficulties. 11% were Eastern European. 

Self-Reported Health  Problems

  • 31% Childhood abuse 11% Sexual abuse 29% PTSD 30% Depression 14% Psychosis
  • 14% Personality Disorder
  • 23% were on treatment for Addiction 
  • 41% were smokers 12% Gamblers  18% were soft drug addicts
  • 37% were Cocaine addicts 42% were Opiate addicts 53% were alcoholics. 
  • Individuals, on average were spending £50 per day. The total daily spend for the group as a whole was in excess of £6000– the highest spend being on Cocaine & Opiates. 
  • 25% felt chaotic & in fear of dying. Only 8% admitted to living off crime and 2% to being dealers
  • Most attendees had multiple long-standing complex Social/Medical problems

Testing the value of promoting more Community Care and Self-help

We developed a score to measure how much people were helping themselves and others.  Using this has been found to  reduce addiction in the past see CareCreds

A subset  of 40 attenders agreed to try earning CareCreds. After 6 months, 61% recorded better quality of life,  81% were healthier and 57% were spending less on addiction (on average £24 less per day). Perhaps such incentive schemes could be refined further. Incentives as little as £2 seem to work.

Current Activity and its Costs            

Throughout the Covid Crisis, Jill and her volunteer team have continued to run the Tuesday Club and added two extra days. She also has been issuing £50 worth of Food bank bags to attendees. The demand is increasing by 5 new households a week and it has been difficult to keep pace with costs and to cope with the stress on volunteers. Indeed without charitable donations the total costs since the start of the crisis would have approached a quarter of a million pounds.


Most of our clients have experienced severe stress in early life resulting in mental ill-health and loss of resilience. Others are victims of the common epigenetic tendency to develop addictions. Many have lost self-respect and have become their own worst enemies, adding to their past stress damage. We believe they must continue to be offered secure, housing as in Ohio that remains available even when unused. Also they must get more personal and community support and incentives to change. Doing this will be not only be humane but should also prove to be the most cost-effective way for us to help.  


  1. PREVENTING THESE PROBLEMS: Providing warm, tolerant and personal home care for vulnerable young families e.g. Boosting the existing Sure Start Maternity Grant. Evidence suggests that any measures that  reduce childhood stress will be beneficial.
  • CURING THESE PROBLEMS: Any effective cure for addiction would be a major help. However because addiction seems to be an epigenetic problem we’ll have to wait some time before any cures are developed and meanwhile focus on social approaches. 
  • CARING FOR THOSE NOW CHRONICALLY DISADVANTAGED: Most of our attendees are quite good at caring for each other. However experience with our CareCreds scheme strongly suggests that even badly disadvantaged people can benefit by being incentivised to do more to help themselves and others. So it may be worth persisting with this or other incentivisation schemes.
  • PROVISION OF SERVICES: CREst’s luncheons are already meeting an important need and their expansion during the COVID crisis has been welcomed. However to continue they must be adequately resourced. At the moment there is insufficient finance and too few volunteers. Reasonable costing needs to be done. 
  • PROVISION OF FACILITIES: Our lunches are being served in Piper Hall which will shortly be demolished. Alternative accommodation must be established soon. Madingley  Community Pantry was set up and run by our volunteers to help meet the above needs.  It is currently being used to store our food donations.  These are being requested not only by the homeless, and local needy families but also by Refugees from Refugee Action. We must consider whether Pantry provision will be required on the newly Regenerated estate. 
  • In future, proper collaboration between all Agencies must be organised.

A New Community Board

Since June 17rd One Norbiton, CREst and CRERA and have joined with our three Local Councillors, Emily Davey. David Ryder-Mills and Ollie Wehring to set up a new Community Board. 

The objective is to provide CRE residents with a negotiating voice during the forthcoming years of Regeneration. Until the Covid crisis is over we will be using “Google Meet”  to meet on-line.

 All residents on the CRE should already have received a letter of inviting those interested to apply to be considered for one of the 4 extra places on this Board. Hopefully many will apply to be selected to do this job , including some of our younger residents. 

The agendas and minutes will be published on the RBK and community group websites and we will set up a WhatsApp group and a dedicated email to enable everyone to make a contribution. 

Please spare a little of your time  to ensure our new estate will be as good as it can be for all its residents  and have as much community spirit as can be generated 

Community kindness helps CREst to feed hundreds of people during the Covid-19 crisis

By Yvonne Winborn

CREst (Cambridge Road Estates Community Group), a charity that exists to look after the health and wellbeing of Cambridge estate’s residents, has fed hundreds of local people in need since the beginning of lockdown three months ago.

As many foodbank outlets in churches were forced to close their doors at the start of lockdown, CREst increased its offering at its foodbank at Piper Hall to accommodate the extra people in need.

Listed in the top 2% of most deprived areas nationally with an estimated refugee population of 38%, the Cambridge Road Estates have been severely affected by the pandemic.

In addition to this the charity says that it became so overwhelmed with requests for food from people from the wider Kingston area that it has now extended its offering to Norbiton ward.

Jill Preston, Chair of CREst, said: “Every week we are currently feeding about 150 people at the foodbank in Piper Hall, plus offering hot meals to a further 30 people.

“The Foodbank morphed out of our Tuesday Group where we previously offered donated food every week thanks to our partnership with Sainsbury’s.

“Until recently we issued Foodbank vouchers to those in need which they took to one of the Foodbank outlets in the area. However many of them were run from churches which are now closed so we are doing our best to plug the gap for these people.

“We have now joined forced with Voices of Hope, Foodbank and City Harvest to satisfy the additional need for food, and have set up JustGiving as we also need to shop for items that we are short of.

“To say we are stretched is an understatement. We are feeding a large number of refugees who often face challenges accessing Universal Credit, along with many more homeless people who would normally be given food by passers-by in the town centre, but of course the town is empty so now they come to us.

“We are also seeing people who ordinarily would never ask for help; people who had steady jobs prior to lockdown but have now found themselves on the breadline. You can tell these people are mortified to be asking for help.

“I cannot turn people in need away so we have made the decision to extend our foodbank offering to Norbiton ward residents.”

Reaching out to more people has been made possible thanks to a donation from UK Homebuilders Countryside, but the charity says it still urgently needs donations.

CREst is particularly keen for more pulses, legumes, lentils (dried or tinned), plus fruit and vegetables and any homemade healthy snacks and baked goods for children to snack on.

Jill said: “We have a wonderful community of kind people here in Kingston, and I can’t thank them enough for their generosity, but in light of the current crisis where we do not know what the future holds, we need all the donations we can get.”

The foodbank at Piper Hall is open from 12pm til 2pm every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. And the charity requests that donations be made during these times.

(Residents are allocated a Unique Food pantry number and will be able to use this weekly to receive a food package. All that is needed is Name, Address and phone number plus how many children and adults are living in the household.  There is one voucher per household. Residents are advised that the food boxes are quite heavy so help or a trolley might be useful).

For more details on how to help CREst please contact 07910 844427.

To donate please go to


With the pandemic crisis getting worse every day we are doing our best to help those in most desperate need. Most of our local homeless have now been found accomodation in hotels. Jill has been opening Piper Hall every day at 12.00 midday to hand out food. She is also accepting both food and other donations from anyone who wants to contribute. This will be distribute by her to those in difficulties. We are doing our best to make this a fair process and cannot agree to accept everything that people offer us. Also if recipients do not behave properly i.e. refuse to get into an orderly queue or observe social separation etc. they may be refused any service at all.

We will be doing an inventory on what we have in our pantry for distribution to needy families. Jill has sent me photos of the furniture etc that she is keeping for redistribution in Piper Hall. I am printing these below.








With the current complete lock-down because of the Corona Virus I’ve plenty of time to update our website. Such a lot has been happening .

The One Norbiton AGM

This went ahead on 12th of March as planned and all current officers were re-elected.

The CREst/ One Norbiton Tuesday Club

This has continued to prosper largely thanks to Jill and her Team (See picture below).plus Joseph Asghar not in the picture.

Throughout this year this team have continued to provide about 50 hot meals every week for Norbiton’s needy and Homeless. This was all helped by a grant from “Love Kingston” and donations by the customers of Sainsbury’s Sury Basin, “City Harvest” and “Save the World”. This voluntary service is now in its third year of operation and to date over 2500 meals have been served to over 500 different visitors. (We’ll be publishing a fuller report on this website soon but click here for a summary of who have been attending).  

In addition, we hand out Food Bank vouchers and clothing and occasionally bedding etc. We try our best to collaborate with other agencies such as Wellbeing, Spear, KCAH, and the local churchs who are doing similar work. Sadly, newcomers are still arriving nearly every week. Helping this group of Norbitonians remains one of our priorities and we expect to be doing this for some time.

One Norbiton Pantry

Since RBK confirmed our short-term lease of the Community Hub (Shop) at a peppercorn rental we have used our own pre-existing grant resources to reconfigure and refurbished it.  Furthermore, Lix Bishop and her RBK Team have helped us re-commission the adjoining room to the Hub as a Community Pantry (this contained only old domestic cookers rescued from the Madingley fire).  This previously underused public space has now become a valuable resource for storing food for the Tuesday Group meals and for use as an emergency Food Bank etc. This could also be real value in the present crisis.

Administration of the Community Halls

As many of you may know, on 1st if Jan 2019 we accepted a two-year contract to test whether our Community Group could do a better and more economic job of administering Queen Mary and Piper Halls than RBK as well as possibly generate savings for a “Community Chest”.  A review of 2019 reveals that so far this has been a big success both in terms of increasing the use of the halls by local residents, maintaining Hall user satisfaction and reducing RBK’s Staffing costs.At a conservative estimate our 2019’s earnings were over £30,000 delivering an 80% rise or an extra £13,500 to RBK Housing’s account and they have agreed to continue funding us at 20k p.a. 

Regeneration approved by CRE Residents

Over 76% of the CRE residents have now voted in favour of regeneration. Hopefully the current pandemic will not greatly delay building work starting.


This will take place on the 12th of March in Piper Hall at 6.30 pm following CREst’s AGM. Please contact Jill or myself if you would like to add any agenda items See below our Accounts for 2019


AS AT 31 MAY 2019

Company limited by guarantee



Fixed Assets:00
Current assets:24,62422,042
Prepayments and accrued income:00
Creditors: amounts falling due within one year:(1,400)( 0 )
Net current assets (liabilities):23,22422,042
Total assets less current liabilities:23,22422,042
Creditors: amounts falling due after more than one year:( 0 )( 0 )
Provision for liabilities:( 0 )( 0 )
Accruals and deferred income:( 0 )( 0 )
Total net assets (liabilities):23,22422,042


Events and Updates

Sorry for the long gap since I last wrote. Much has been happening. CREst’s Funday, organised by Jill, went off very well and was attended by the Liz Green, the LibDem leader of the Council and Ian Thomas RBK’s new Chief executive.

Ian Thomas and Jill Preston at the CREst Fun Day 2019

The meetings on the proposed Regeneration have been numerous and there are now models of the new apartments on display in the Tadlow Hub. The Residents, ballot will not take place until early 2020.

One Norbiton and CREst are busy refurbishing their Madingley Hub and setting up the emergency food pantry. We continue to cooperate feeding 40 to 50 needy and homeless Norbitonians every Tuesday thanks to an excellent team of volunteers.

The running of the Halls has been very busy and onerous, particularly for Jill. She has been called at all hours seven days a week – an unacceptable workload for a paid worker let alone a volunteer. Therefore from now on she will be available only during normal weekday office hours (9.00 to 17.00) and on the Hall Mobile 07762 808787. It is possible for users to book the Halls on this site at any time (see the site menu).

However this community service is earning us a very useful income to support all our other activities (which are, of course, non-profit making). Better still we have been attracting new hirers such residents holding parties at weekends. At our meetings of users, there has been general approval for how we have been administering the Halls . Under our agreement with RBK, when our earnings exceed the halls’ running costs, the difference will be used to build up a Community Chest for the benefit of all residents on both Estates. 


For the last month PPCR have been working on the Cambridge Road Estate helping residents understand the implications of Regeneration. Janet Edwards and Lurline Cumberbatch are visiting every home to discuss individual concerns. They can also be contacted by Freephone on 0800317 066 or landline 020 7407 7452 and E-mail on

In addition they are holding weekly POP-UP sessions on Wednesdays from 1pm to 3.30pm usually by our Community Hub at the foot of Madingley and weekly DROP-IN in Piper Hall and Childerley on Wednesdays between 3.00pm and 6.30pm. Please make use of these if you need information.

Congratulations Jill!

Jill Preston has been awarded the Frances Moseley Community Award. Jill who is chair of CREst and Vice Chair of One Norbiton received her plaque in the Mayor’s office this Monday from Cllr Emily Davey after a glowing citation on the enormous amount of work she has done for the Cambridge Estates community. See a photo from the ceremony below.