CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Greenwood is home to a range of services

07 March, 2019

Service users join Camden Disability Action chairman Oliver Greene, Camden Council leader Georgia Gould and Cllr Pat Callaghan at the launch of the Greenwood Centre in Kentish Town

• THANK you for your coverage of the grand opening of our new Greenwood Centre, (Camden opens £17 million Greenwood Centre, February 28).

I would, however, like to respond to a few points raised on your Letters page, (Questions remain on the new base for the Disability in Camden charity, February 28).

The £21million cost of building the new Greenwood Centre was mainly funded through our Community Investment Programme, which raises money through the sale of new homes and underused assets, with a £2.4million contribution from University College London Hospital.

Greenwood is home to a range of services and organisations, which offer support and activities for disabled people, including Camden’s first Centre for Independent Living (CIL), which is run by disabled people for disabled people. Greenwood is also the new home for day services for adults with learning disabilities and mental health needs.

There is a café, run as a social enterprise and providing training for people with learning disabilities, as well as a conference space, event and meeting rooms, all available for hire by community groups and local organisations. Full hire costs can be provided by the CIL.

Healthwatch Camden rents an office and we’ve always been open about the need to help subsidise our overall running costs. As the letter says, there are some fantastic activity rooms, prioritised for day services during weekdays until 4pm, though there will be opportunities for the wider disabled community to use these spaces and to attend classes.

A programme of activities for the wider community is also being compiled by the CIL, who will advertise them on their website. The CIL also hopes to open the activity spaces for the wider disabled community at weekends.

Regarding access to the centre, extensive highways works within Greenwood Place mean it is a much more pleasant environment for those coming on foot, in a wheelchair or by vehicle.

The narrowest section is now one-way to make it easier for vehicles to drop people off and then exit. We’ve widened footpaths, introduced dropped kerbs and raised the road level to footpath level in certain areas, to make it easier for people to cross the road.

There are three disabled parking bays in front of the centre and three spaces for buses on the private forecourt for disabled passengers to be dropped off. Additionally, there are other pay-and-display parking spaces within Greenwood Place, which those with disabled parking badges can use for free.

A speed table and build-out has also been built in preparation for a crossing point, once a footpath through the new site is opened.

CLLR PATRICIA CALLAGHAN,
Cabinet Member for Tackling Health Inequality & Promoting Independence

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