Sarah Jones Christmas Update

Address: Park Hill

This will be my last newsletter of 2023. I hope you have a great break over the Christmas period.

Here is a recap of what I have been doing in Croydon and Westminster:

Honouring the life of Elianne Andam 

It was a deep honour to be able to join Elianne’s family and friends as we came together for her funeral and wake to celebrate a life that was full of joy, love, and laughter. Elianne’s future was full of promise. An aspiring lawyer, Elianne brought happiness and love to everyone around her. As a mother, I can’t comprehend the pain her loved ones are going through. Elianne touched people’s lives and will be greatly missed. The way in which Croydon came together following Elianne’s murder, and the crowds that gathered at her funeral was testament to the fundamental truth of this town: people make Croydon. I’m aware that a GoFundMe page has been set up to help Elianne’s family with the funeral costs. If you are able to and want to donate, please see the link here.


Remembering those who fought and never came home 

On Remembrance Sunday I paid tribute to those who have lost their lives in wars around the world. I’m proud that every year on Remembrance Sunday our country stands together to commemorate all those who’ve served and sacrificed. Recent events have made it clear that such services are as important as ever, serving as a constant reminder of the horrors that war inflicts upon populations. This year’s Remembrance Sunday reminded us all that in these dark and difficult times, peace is possible.

Supporting Croydon’s Foodbanks 

I am increasingly concerned about our Foodbanks’ ability to deal with an increase in demand for their services. Recent statistics show that donations to food banks are at their lowest ever levels, at the same time that we have the highest levels of food poverty since the pandemic. Foodbanks play a vital role in supporting families not just in Croydon but across the country. We are lucky to have such a dedicated team of Foodbank volunteers in Croydon who help those in need put food on the table, but they need donations more than ever. Croydon Voluntary Action are campaigning to support our local Foodbanks. If you, your workplace, school, or community group have anything to spare, you can see where to donate here. I know that people are struggling, even more so in the run-up to Christmas and during the colder months. If you are in need of a Foodbank referral this winter, or at any point during the year, please get in touch with me.


Cleaning-up Croydon’s streets 

I joined local Labour campaigners in Broad Green in speaking to residents about the fly-tipping that is plighting our streets, specifically on London Road and the residential alleyways and side streets. We collected signatures from residents for a petition calling on the Council to take action to tackle the fly-tipping. We should all be able to love and feel pride in the streets that we call home.


Discussing housing provisions for families with SEN children 

I have become increasingly concerned about families with SEN children in Croydon who are living in unsuitable housing. Red Gates is a wonderful school in my constituency that provides support for pupils with severe learning difficulties and complex needs. I recently met with staff at Red Gates School and representatives from Croydon Council to discuss the issues that families with SEN children are facing when it comes to suitable housing. As a Member of Parliament, the single most common issue that people come to me about is housing, whether that is temporary accommodation, poor housing conditions, or a lack of affordable places to live. We all deserve to live somewhere clean, warm, and safe. I am currently working with Croydon Council and Red Gates to ensure that the needs of families with SEN children are understood, communicated with, and supported.


Backing Croydon Business on Small Business Saturday 

It was a joy to celebrate Small Business Saturday by attending Yulefest in Coulsdon alongside our excellent candidate for Croydon South, Ben Taylor. Small Business Saturday is a chance for us to buy local and pay tribute to the UK’s small business community, something that is particularly thriving in and around the Croydon area. At this festive event, I talked with a number of business owners about Labour’s plans to boost our high street and support local businesses. It was great to do so alongside Ben, who has founded a small business himself in the past and is a great Labour candidate to take Croydon South out of the Tories’ hands.

Coming together to discuss the issues facing refugees and asylum seekers in Croydon 

Thank you to Adam and everyone at the Croydon Refugee & New Communities Forum for bringing together residents and representatives from Croydon for an important discussion on the challenges that refugees and asylum seekers often face when they arrive in the UK from their home countries. I’ll be meeting with community figures again later this month to discuss what more we can do to make sure that our most vulnerable residents are housed appropriately and safely.
Spending time at my old school 

The announcement that Old Palace will be closing was shocking. Old Palace represents a century and more of Croydon’s heritage and, in the bright prospects of its pupils, its future too. Old Palace have had a horrible few months, with the announcement of the closure, followed by the loss of one of their own, Elianne Andam. The staff at Old Palace have been doing an amazing job of supporting the pupils and families, and it was good to welcome pupils and staff to Parliament this month, as well as taking a trip down memory lane and going back to my old school. Education has the power to change lives, and the staff and my fellow pupils at Old Palace certainly played a big part in shaping the person I am today. I will continue to work with the Whitcroft Foundation and Croydon Council over the coming months to ensure that whatever happens next has the interest of Old Palace’s girls at its heart.

Celebrating the joy of Diwali 

I was so pleased to celebrate Diwali with amazing dancers and musicians at Stanley Arts in South Norwood earlier this month. Thanks to Anusha Subramanyam for being such an inspirational dancer and choreographer – she even got me dancing! Stanley Arts is a wonderful venue that puts on amazing events. You can see what they have going on here.

Championing Croydon at the annual Develop Croydon Conference 

I was really pleased to speak at the closing reception of this year’s Develop Croydon Conference, talking about a topic I feel so passionately about: Croydon, and its future. I’ve called this place home my entire life and now it’s home to my children too. I spoke about my hopes for Croydon, its strengths, its potential. In Croydon, our diversity is our strength. It defines everything from our communities to the very landscape around us. I want the future of Croydon to be as vibrant as the people and communities that live here. Being the London Borough of Culture has given wonderful opportunities to illustrate that.


Memorial Concert for Daniel De-Gale 

I was honoured to be invited to Fairfield Halls for the incredible concert in memory of Daniel De-Gale who in 1999, became the first black individual in the UK to receive a stem cell transplant from an unrelated donor. The 8th of October 2023 marked 15 years since the death of Daniel De-Gale. Daniel, from Croydon, was diagnosed with an acute form of leukaemia in 1996 and urgently needed a lifesaving stem cell donor. As there were not enough black or mixed heritage people on the donor register, the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT) was founded to create awareness and to register new potential stem cell donors, blood, and organ donors. The evening was full of performances by singers, comedians, dancers, and actors, and a wonderful celebration of Daniel’s life and the incredible work of the ACLT. To find out more about the ACLT, have a look at their website here.


Marking World AIDS Day 

Thank you to the wonderful staff and HIV clinicians at Croydon University Hospital for inviting me to mark World AIDS Day to celebrate the expansion of blood-borne virus (BBV) testing in emergency departments. The theme for World AIDS Day 2023 is “Let communities lead”. Croydon University Hospital has done an amazing job at rolling-out ‘opt-out-testing’ for patients who come to A&E. This has been transformative for diagnosing patients with HIV who may have otherwise never have been tested. Catching HIV early and before it develops minimises rates of transmission, which has not only saved millions of pounds, but also allows people living with HIV to live long, healthy, and prosperous lives. The Government have this week announced that this scheme is now going to be rolled out to 50 others places in the UK. I am so proud that Croydon is leading the way and showing the rest of the UK how we tackle HIV and AIDS.

Making Mental Health a priority 

Thank you to the Social Interest Group, a charity delivering mental health support services in our borough, for co-organising our Croydon Mental Health event this month, where we discussed the changes the police are making to 999 calls about mental health. Figures show that Police across the country have been dealing with increasing demands to intervene with people suffering mental health crises, which has had a significant impact on available resources. ‘Right Care, Right Person’ changes the way the emergency services respond to calls involving concerns about mental health. We heard from the local police, representatives from Croydon University Hospital, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, NHS South West London Integrated Care Board, and individuals who shared their own lived experiences. Early changes are working well, but we will need to be vigilant to ensure vulnerable people are supported at the right time and in the right place.

Celebrating 70 years of Crosfield Nursery 

Thank you so much to the wonderful staff, parents, and pupils at Crosfield Nursery for inviting me to celebrate their 70th birthday! The incredible staff at Crosfield provide essential early-years support for children with special educational needs. Croydon Council recently consulted whether to reduce the number of Maintained Nurseries in the borough by closure or amalgamation. I have previously met with parents, staff and community members who are calling for all five Croydon Maintained Nurseries to remain open. They told me how these nursery schools provide a unique offer to families whose children have additional needs and how they offer inclusive, affordable and accessible early education to some of our most vulnerable families. I am now waiting to see the outcome of the consultation. Here’s to another 70 years of Crosfield Nursery.


Lighting-up Croydon to mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Domestic Violence 

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is marked every year around the world on 25 November and is followed by the 16 Days of Activism Against Domestic Violence. Orange the World is led by the United Nations to mark awareness of the campaign, which ends on Human Rights Day on 10th December. I was delighted to work with the Croydon Soroptimists in getting the Executive Mayor Jason Perry to agree to illuminate Croydon Town Hall in the colour orange for a few hours each evening for these sixteen days. You can find out more about Soroptimist International Croydon and District here.


Meeting Croydon Scouts for UK Parliament Week 

UK Parliament Week is an annual festival that engages people from across the UK with Parliament and empowers them to get involved. Last year 1.1 million people took part in over 10,000 activities across the UK, and I am always delighted when people from Croydon take part. Among other activities this UK Parliament Week I met with the 28th Croydon Scouts at their weekly after-school activities where we discussed Democracy, the UK Voting System, and what it means to be an MP. Thank you as well to the Pinewood Seahorses Explorer Scouts for joining me in Westminster for a tour of the Houses of Parliament. Meeting with children and young people is one of the many highlights of my job. If you would like to arrange a tour of Parliament for your school, Scouts or Guides group, or if you are part of a volunteer group or community organisation, or if you would like me to come and visit you, please do get in touch with me. My email is


Delivering on casework 

Since the beginning of October, I have received 4,275 casework emails, 64% of the casework is related to housing, and in the colder months the enquiries are often concerning damp and mould in properties.

In the last two months we’ve had some great wins. For example, a father has struggled since September to put food on the table for his family because his private hire vehicle license had expired. I worked with the Home Office and TFL to get his private hire vehicle license renewed in a timely fashion. Thankfully he is now back at work. Another gentleman’s refuse bin had been destroyed in a storm. He had been chasing the Council for 5 months, but I was able to secure him a replacement bin in just 4 days. A mother who is struggling with the cost of living was accidentally charged for an application she did not require. I worked with the Home Office to rectify this, and she has been refunded. Another lady who has a disability and is in her first year of business management studies needed a student finance loan. I worked with London South Bank University and Student Finance England to help secure a student loan so she can finish her studies. And finally, a soon-to-be mum was facing eviction when her landlord announced his plans to sell the property quickly and with very short notice. I worked with Croydon Council for two months and she has now been rehoused before her baby arrives.

These are just a small selection of some of our many successes over the past few months!  A huge thanks must go to my small team for all their hard work, and their continued ability to get results.

Contacting me for advice or support 

My MP advice surgeries across the constituency in the last few months have been very well-attended. These surgeries are a chance for people to bring their concerns to me and my team. We will always do whatever we can to help and support you with whatever you need.

I know that many people will be struggling and looking for help as we head towards Christmas and the colder months. If there is anything I can do as your MP to support you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. My team and I are always on hand to offer any advice and support that we can offer. If you think I can help, please email me at – Alternatively, my office phone number is 0208 191 7066. Lines are open Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10-12 and 2-4.
My office opening times over the festive period

My office will be closed between the 21st of December and the 2nd of January, but I can be contacted as usual at lines will be switched off as the office is closed, but please rest assured that this email address will be monitored throughout the Christmas period. I am on hand to assist, as ever, so please do not hesitate