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"The Croft was like being a family without being family ... You are starting again. You are starting afresh and you could be who you wanted to be"
Lesley

"Good memories, good memories, It was what I needed... I mean I dread to think what might have happened to me if there wasn't the The Croft at the time "
Julie

"It was a very good environment, in particular for the time when having a baby as a single parent you were very much a second class citizen and looked down on."
Stella

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More Stories from the Croft
Vendolyn's Story

"I was brought up very religious but my father and mother they were recruited to this country when I was young because they were British citizens and I think it was they needed people to come over to help build the country back up, yes so they were recruited over so I was left with my sister. 

I had a good life in Jamaica, it was very good and I came to this country when I was thirteen but when I came I was looking forward to seeing my mum and dad, but when I came I got a really big shock because it was so much racism, I couldn’t believe it ... I had the racism in school really but I had to fight really for my rights ... you know, when I was trying to queue up for the queue in school they used to say 'Get back to the back, that’s where you belong.' So to stop that I had to take a chair up and physically wave it about and then they left me alone and then, you know, the racism was ok then with the children, they were my friends then, but it’s a shame that I had to do that. 

I don’t mind changes, you know, you can learn from changes and it makes you like, not to rely on any one situation ... I was just excited to come and see my mum and dad and seeing England and what it was like, you know, it didn’t really bother me. I missed my sister and my family and friends but I know that you have to leave ... sometimes you just have to leave people behind ..."

Moved to The Croft in 1970.







AUDIO TRANSCRIPT
"But then ... when I left St Albans, when I left the Sherwood hospital because I was there then to do my nurses training and I didn’t like it and after all my hard work that I did they reckon that I wasn’t suitable because of the racism simply and so I was very disappointed and for years I wouldn’t tell people what had happened. I would say that I didn’t like it and I just left but I just felt really ashamed in a way, you know, even though it wasn’t my fault, I still felt because I wanted to be a nurse and that. So anyway, you know I met Amanda('s) dad he was in the Air Force and he was, you know, he had another relationship but I didn’t know because I didn’t know him, I just met him and he had a ... so when I was pregnant with Amanda he had another child on the way as well and he’d just got married as well so ... you know, it didn’t bother me as such either you know. I was disappointed because I wanted my baby to have a dad and that, you know, but then when I met that lovely doctor and she introduced me to The Croft, you know, and it was lovely when I went to The Croft, all those lovely girls you know, everybody just got on, it was just like one family you know and it was so nice, so, so lovely. And some had their babies, some was pregnant because I was pregnant so I had to go to The City to have my baby and then I went back to The Croft and Mrs Johns was really nice and then I met my husband and then he used to come and visit me there, you know with the baby, yes."