Abbey Community Association’s 70th Birthday
A registered charity, the Abbey Centre provides services, activities and opportunities to local residents who, despite living in an area of apparent affluence, experience some of the greatest disadvantage and health inequalities in London. It works in partnership with organisations that share its ethics, values and passion for social justice to promote better opportunities and improved health and wellbeing for vulnerable residents and families, and to increase inter-community and generational understanding and connections.
The centre is a vibrant community hub buzzing with diverse activities and services. Spread across five floors, the building is run as a social enterprise, providing conference and training facilities for corporate clients, with a friendly in-house café and catering service. These activities generate around half of the charity’s annual income, providing greater self-sufficiency, the ability to withstand reductions in statutory funding and the opportunity to develop new and innovative solutions to significant social problems.
The Abbey Centre has a unique role in south Westminster as a provider of important services that bring the diverse local communities together. With significantly fewer community and leisure facilities compared to the north of the borough, there is no comparable local organisation providing such a broad range of services in the south. Whether it is delivering its own activities and services, or supporting others through the provision of space and facilities, the charity is vital to the area.
Activities taking place at the Abbey Centre include a befriending service for vulnerable older residents, out-of-school activities for children and families, a support service for carers, a hot meals service for rough sleepers, a community choir, ESOL classes, fitness classes for people of all ages, a mental health support service, assistance with accessing training and employment… the list goes on.