The Epsom community has rushed to support those affected by the devastating riots in Croydon last week, which left many homeless.

Nick Oborski, minister at Epsom Methodist Church, organised an appeal with the help of youth worker Lucy Beard, inviting all churches in the area to collect clothing, tinned food and toiletries for those in need.

He said: “We are dealing with who have lost their homes and have literally what they stood up in.

“They have no clothes, food or toiletries.

“We just wanted to help in a practical way.”

The group delivered a second load of donations to Croydon this week which were accepted by Parchmore Methodist Church in Thornton Heath where a crisis centre has been opened.

Nigel Cowgill, reverend at the Parchmore Methodist Church, said: “We have opened a crisis centre in Croydon and so any help for the short term is fantastic.

“It is primarily for those people who have been made homeless but also for businesses.

“There’s a need for practical help and that’s what we are trying to do.

“Our hall is more or less full and we have an open door policy where people can come in and take what they need.”

Lucy Beard, youth worker at Epsom Methodist Church added: “The response has been amazing and we are really grateful to everybody that’s been generous in helping us.

“This initial phase is winding down at the moment and I’m just going to keep in touch to see what we can do in the future.

“As a church we will continue to offer support."