London,
25
February
2019
|
18:21
Europe/London

Camden officially opens its first Centre for Independent Living

Camden has officially launched the new Greenwood Centre, its first Centre for Independent Living.

Run by disabled people for disabled people, the Greenwood Centre opened its doors to residents at the start of the year, offering services and activities to support independence, inclusion, health and wellbeing.

Built and paid for by Camden’s Community Investment Programme and University College London Hospital, the centre was designed specifically for people with mental health needs and disabilities.

Serving as a central place for residents to seek out advice, the centre offers support and information on how to live independently, helping them to achieve the life they want for themselves.

“The dream of many has come to fruition and now we as disabled people with various disabilities - both visible and invisible - will have a one stop shop for all. CDA will be running an information and advice hub, bringing activities and therapies into the building, and engaging with all disabled people. There will be training, volunteering and campaigning."
Oliver Greene, Chair of Camden Disability Action (CDA) which will be leading the Centre for Independent Living
Cllr Pat Callaghan, Cabinet Member for Tackling Health Inequality and Promoting Independence
"We believe that everybody in Camden should be able to live a healthy, active life and remain as independent and connected as possible.

“Our support focuses on the strengths of Camden residents, not their weaknesses. Central to the work we do is to provide residents with the tools to develop those strengths and sense of independence.”
Cllr Pat Callaghan, Cabinet Member for Tackling Health Inequality and Promoting Independence

The new centre includes space available for accessible meetings, including conference space, social enterprises and a range of activities for residents to participate in, such as art, music, gardening and pottery.

The Camden Society will run a café from within the centre, providing training opportunities and apprenticeships for disabled adults. It will not just serve as a café to visitors of the building but also provide an external catering service to local businesses. Fitted with the latest equipment, it will provide an excellent platform for its staff to go on and work within the wider catering industry should they choose to do so.

Special adaptations have been made to help residents with particularly complex needs using the centre, such as large changing places toilets to give staff the space to support residents and mobility hoists to support people taking part in activities or using particular facilities.

Users of Greenwood Centre say the centre has given them a place where they can find support and make new friends.

Rafael Soza said: “I suffer from depression and anxiety, and coming to the centre calms me down. It gives you structure and helps me refocus. I help support the men’s group, where we talk about different topics and issues. It’s like therapy.”