Some new year resolutions for Croydon

By - Monday 4th January, 2016

Don’t buy new trainers just yet – Jonny Rose suggests alternative new year resolutions

I don’t normally go in for new years resolutions. They’re onerous, rarely realised, and – with their implicit suggestion that all you need to do be a better person is try harder – are anti-thetical to all that I believe.

However, no doubt there will be some of you for whom setting rules, goals, and targets, is a good and helpful thing.

So, if you’re that way inclined, here are a few Croydon-centric resolutions to add to your list:

Volunteer more

Croydon could be so much better if only every reader of the Croydon Citizen resolved to spend a few hours per month helping at one of the 1,700 voluntary organisations in the borough. Not sure of where you can lend your talents? I’ve listed several ideas here.

Behave better online

Any regular user of Twitter in Croydon will be aware of the harsh, ungracious and deliciously sociopathic timbre of Croydon discussion. This is a shame as often the best and most rewarding discussions, friendships and ideas for the good of Croydon are fermented first online.

Robert Ward wrote an excellent Citizen piece on ‘How to spot a troll‘ – a helpful guide to some of the more toxic behaviours that are displayed online. Avoid those people, and, in turn, resolve not to turn into one of them.

Be more neighbourly

I’ve written before on how loneliness plagues the lives of many Croydonians – particularly the elderly. All of us are aware of the societal ills on our doorsteps; many of these could be ameliorated if we took the time to develop stronger bonds with those who live around us.

Neighbouring relationships are more effective than local government or charity agency initiatives because they are organic and ongoing. When neighbours are in relationship with one another, for instance, the elderly shut-ins get cared for by the person next door, the at-risk child gets mentored by a dad who lives on the same street, and so on.

The solutions to the problems in Croydon aren’t ultimately found in the government, police, or schools – they rely on us becoming better neighbours.

Attend a public consultation

Despite my extensive screed against public consultations in Croydon, I do think that they would be much better and more reflective of ‘the public’ if more people actually showed up.

As more and more seismic changes happen in Croydon over the next five years, it’s imperative that the public takes an interest in what’s happening and make sure that its voice is heard.

Break out of your social bubble

One of the worst things about the Croydon commentariat is its relentless tribalism and propensity to draw up walls because of suspicion towards the motives of ‘the other side’. The most interesting people are those that have a wide social circle comprising of people that span multiple worldviews, income brackets and lived experiences.

Don’t let your Croydon social circle in 2016 be limited to the parents at your toddlers group, fellow activists at your local party HQ, or your colleagues in the office. Mix it up.

Don’t say something, do something

Finally, this year, let’s resolve to be Croydonians that don’t just pat ourselves on the back for our virtuous opinions about how Croydon should be, but actually get out there and make a practical and tangible difference.

Join Croydon Tech City for its January 2016 launch at Croydon Conference Centre. Free, all welcome, to attend please register here.

Jonny Rose

Jonny Rose

Jonny Rose is a committed Christian who has lived in the Croydon area for nearly twenty years. He is an active participant in his local community, serving at Grace Vineyard Church and organising Purley Breakfast Club, and was ranked "Croydon's 37th most powerful person" by the Croydon Advertiser (much to his amusement). He owns a lead generation company. He is the Head of Content at marketing technology company Idio, the founder of the Croydon Tech City movement, a LinkedIn coach, and creator of Croydon's first fashion label, Croydon Vs The World. Working on Instagram training and a Linkedin lead generation service. Views are his own, but it would be best for all concerned if you shared them. Please send your fanmail to: jonnyrose1 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  • Anne Giles

    My New Year resolution is simply to stick to real friends, as well as the real ones on Twitter and Facebook and discard anyone who wishes to inflict pain.