A few months ago, we applied to Crowdfund London to transform an under-used car park into a space for art and nature. We plan to build raised food-growing beds and art studio where people with a learning disability can learn new skills and discover new interests.
Around 90 people with a learning disability come to The Riverside Centre in South London each day. It is a social hub, learning centre, safe space and invaluable resource. We offer support so people can choose how to spend their day and plan their own timetable of activities, from painting to horse-riding. Because of the imminent closure of our other South London centre we need to make space for even more people at The Riverside who face the prospect of otherwise having nowhere to go each day.
Our car park is currently under-used, uninspiring and pretty unloved. It’s crying out for a new use. We want to brighten up this space by rejuvenating the overgrown, littered borders; building raised accessible flower beds where we can teach gardening and grow our own healthy food to serve in our kitchen. We will also commission a converted sea container for use as an art studio to increase the capacity of one of our most popular activities at the centre.
Just last week we found out that our crowd funding project had been selected, out of 150 other projects, to receive a cash pledge from the Mayor of London. We were invited to pitch our idea live at City Hall on Tuesday 25th July. Gemma Cooper, the co-chair of the parent and carer group, bravely stood in front of hundreds of people and delivered a heart-felt plea for support. This resulted in a whopping £10,000 pledge from the Mayor of London and a further £500 from Veolia.
These pledges along with others from local businesses, staff and trustees, means we now have £12,300 towards our £16,700 target. This is such an exciting time but we still have a way to go – and if we don’t hit our target we get NOTHING! So, it is a busy time for us here at The Camden Society – we won’t stop until we hit our target.