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How accessible are Camden’s community centres?

Healthwatch Camden and Camden Disability Action are working together to find out how accessible Camden’s community centres are for local residents with disabilities. 

Disabled people say that they can find it difficult to access local community services for a number of reasons. For example, difficulty in using public transport, or inadequate wheelchair provision at a local centre. It could be that information is needed about what is on offer in a different format such as easy read, or requiring a hearing loop in order to join in with activity.

We want to highlight that we are aware of the serious constraints that local community centres are under in terms of the aged buildings that they often occupy and the financial situation. Our work is not to assign blame or “catch out” any centres or their staff. We’re simply looking for a realistic picture of the extent to which services are usable by disabled people.

We want to find out how realistic it would be for someone with a disability to use the local community centres and to share this information with Camden council and local disabled people.  We hope that this will help local disabled people to find out about what services are available and to help Camden council have a clear view of what the current situation is to ensure that disabled people are not left without access to community sports, leisure and social activities.

We also hope that we can help build a case for investment where it is needed, help centres to audit their own facilities and, where possible, to make changes and offer workable and easy to implement solutions.

In order to get the project underway, we’ve recruited some volunteers with disabilities to go and look at all the community centres in Camden. They will look at whether centres have certain accessibility features, such as a disabled toilet, and talk to staff members at the centres.

If you have any concerns or would like to discuss this further then please Victoria on 020 7383 2402 Monday to Thursday or email Victoria.armitage@healthwatchcamden.co.uk.

Or alternatively comment below.