Charity opens independent living centre in London to support people with mental health needs and disabilities
Camden Disability Action has officially opened the Greenwood Centre, an independent living facility which aims to promote independence, inclusion, health and wellbeing for local residents.
The Centre is run by disabled people and was designed specifically for Camden residents with mental health needs and disabilities. It was built and paid for by Camden’s Community Investment Programme and University College London Hospital.
Giving people a chance to seek advice and receive support and information on how to live independently, the Greenwood Centre has an overall aim of improving people’s lives.
Oliver Greene, Chair of Camden Disability Action, said: “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.”
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.
Camden Councillor Pat Callaghan, Cabinet Member for Tackling Health Inequality and Promoting Independence, added: “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.”
Additionally, the Camden Society will run a café from within the centre, presenting disabled adults training opportunities and apprenticeships.
Special adaptations have also been made to help residents with complex needs use the centre, including Changing Places facilities to give staff the space to support residents and mobility hoists to support people taking part in activities or using particular facilities.
Rafael Soza, a user of the new Centre, commented: “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.”