Greenwood growing tall as Centre for Independent Living takes shape

Camden Council’s Greenwood Centre, which will be home to its first Centre for Independent Living, is taking shape as it reached its full height recently.

The building will house modern, fully accessible facilities for adults of all ages including those who have physical and learning disabilities, or mental health needs, giving them the choice, control and opportunities to help them to live independently and enjoy active lives in their community.

It will be managed by a consortium of Camden disability organisations headed by Camden Disability Action – with an emphasis on services run by people with disabilities, for people with disabilities.

The centre, which is set to open in late 2018, is being funded and built by Camden Council, with construction company Keir its main contractor, and is a key project in Camden Council’s Community Investment Programme.

Councillor Pat Callaghan, Cabinet Member for Tackling Health Inequality and Promoting Independence at Camden Council, said: “Greenwood will be the fantastic new home for our day services in Camden, bringing together well-established specialist services that provide people with the confidence, skills and support to live their lives as independently as possible.

“We’ve designed the centre in partnership with the people who will use it, to make it both fully accessible and somewhere they’ll feel comfortable spending time. It’s going to be a valuable resource for our residents that will provide therapy, sensory rooms, job and life-skills support, activities and will hopefully become a really sociable place.”

Ossie Stuart, Chair of Camden Disability Action, said: “Looking into the future – some people don’t want to be just receiving services. We are citizens of Camden. We have resources that we can give and will be giving to Camden.”

“Be it technology, be it entertainment, be it just lunch, we want this centre – Greenwood Place - to be a place where lots of people want to come.”

Once open, the new centre will offer:

  • Current specialist Camden services supporting people with a range of care and support needs, including those currently provided by New Shoots, Mayford, Peperfield and those run from Highgate Day Centres
  • Sensory rooms, including light, touch and sound features
  • Art and music rooms
  • A mock-up adapted flat to allow people to try out features which will help them to live independently, before they are installed at their own homes
  • Apprenticeship and work experience opportunities, including a community café run by people with disabilities.
  • Activities including singing, pottery classes, painting and gardening
  • Rooms for hire for service users and the wider community

The Greenwood Centre is part of Camden Council’s Community Investment Programme. The Community Investment Programme is our 15-year public investment plan, putting £1billion into schools, homes and community facilities. Through the Community Investment Programme Camden is building 3,050 new homes in Camden, including 1,400 genuinely affordable council and Camden Living Rent homes, investing £117 million into 48 schools and children’s centres and providing improved community facilities like the Greenwood Centre.

Councillor Danny Beales, Cabinet Member for Investing in Communities at Camden Council, said: “This is what our Community Investment Programme is all about – making smart use of our resources and working with local residents to provide the homes, community facilities and in this case, the care and personal support, that Camden residents want and need.”

The new centre will be funded by the sale of three separate older buildings, Raglan House, Highgate Day Centre and 96-98 Shoot Up Hill.

Last month we published Supporting people, connecting communities, our plan for living and ageing well in Camden.