The Greenwood Centre, our new community resource centre at Greenwood Place in Kentish Town, opened in February 2019.
Greenwood houses Camden’s first ever Centre for Independent Living (CIL), led by disabled people, for disabled people and run by Camden voluntary sector disability organisations, led by Camden Disability Action.
The Greenwood Centre, which is located at 37 Greenwood Place, NW5 1LB, offers a range of services and activities that support independence, inclusion, health and wellbeing. People can come and use a range of support designed to help them do the things they choose. Greenwood is designed to be completely accessible.
The centre offers training and employment, encourages social enterprises to grow and supports people who live in Camden’s community to stay and become more independent. As Camden’s first CIL, it offers an opportunity for organisations led by the people who use the centre to manage and develop a place that truly responds to the needs of the people of Camden:
- separate spaces for services supporting people with mental ill-health, learning disabilities and profound and multiple learning disabilities
- facilities that can be used by everyone in Camden, including a café, a large room for conferences, events or dance, accessible meeting rooms and rooms for art, music activities and an IT suite
- flexible spaces that can be hired out to community groups and independent organisations.
Centre for Independent Living (CIL)
The Greenwood Place development gave us an opportunity to create Camden’s first Centre for Independent Living (CIL). A CIL is an organisation or network of organisations that is run and managed by people with disabilities.
Camden’s CIL will offer a range of services and activities that support independence, inclusion, health and wellbeing. The offer will respond to the needs of the people of Camden and be part of the local community.
The CIL offers:
- opportunities to develop wider networks and peer-led support groups, with a range of volunteering and mentoring activities that enable people to achieve their goals
- new opportunities to train for a job and work, reducing barriers to employment and increasing social inclusion
- advice, support and information on independent living
- a demonstration flat, which has the latest equipment and assistive technology to enable independence
- regular and accessible information
- a developing network of disabled people to represent their peer group; influencing strategy, policy and practice.
Facilities for people using mental health and learning disability services
The centre provides the following facilities for people using these services:
- a purpose-built space where people can take part in activities specific to their needs and benefit from therapeutic techniques
- access to outdoor space with facilities for gardening
- a community at the centre and stronger connections with the local community
- a bigger choice of services and activities, allowing people to use their personal budgets more flexibly
- access to advice and support focused on training and employment
- the Centre for Independent Living offers a range of services and activities that support independence, inclusion, health and wellbeing
- the chance for social enterprises to start up and deliver some of the services operating in the building, such as catering
- bookable activity space that can be used for peer-led sessions or activities run by external organisations.
The service formerly run from Highgate Day Centre has moved to the Greenwood Centre and provides high-quality services for people with mental ill-health using the facilities of the centre.
Learning disabilities and autism
The integrated learning disabilities day service, formerly provided at Peperfield, Mayford and 96–98 Shoot Up Hill, has dedicated, purpose-built space on the ground floor of Greenwood. The day service meets the needs of people with learning disabilities, including people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well as those on the autistic spectrum. It also allows people to benefit from the centre’s other facilities.
The Greenwood Centre is equipped to meet both current and future needs of these groups, particularly those of young people moving towards living independently as adults.
Greenwood has strong links with the Alexandra Centre, Camden’s provision for young people aged 16 to 25 with profound, multiple or severe learning disabilities, as well as our Breakaway short breaks service for adults and young adults with learning and physical disabilities, which now shares a site with the Alexandra Centre.
Our Community Investment Programme
In 2010 we adopted a 15-year programme for improving our buildings and services. This is called the Community Investment Programme (CIP). The Greenwood Place development has been funded by the CIP.