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£34,000 boost for Riverside Day Centre Improvements

The past few weeks have brought a fantastic boost to our fundraising to enable building improvements at our Riverside Day Centre at Cherry Gardens in Bermondsey. In January our Riverside capital campaign was awarded just over £9,000 by The National Lottery Community Fund. Then, at the end of February, the Trustees of the Peter Harrison Foundation awarded us a further £25,000.

These awards mean we are now just shy of £100,000 and very close to being able to start much needed internal renovations and building work at Riverside. This will improve the centre for the benefits for all Riverside users. In particular, a new upstairs changing room with facilities for people in wheelchairs will improve provision for exercise; new internal layout will transform the first floor into a multi-purpose space able to support a variety of different activities and group sizes; improved fire safety provision will mean that wheelchair users will be able to access the first floor, enabling them to participate in all activities being held upstairs.

The opportunity to take part in activities at Riverside helps people with a learning disability to remain active, social, and stimulated, improving their health and well-being.

The Camden Society is one of only two lead providers of day activities specifically for people with a learning disability in Southwark and our activities at Riverside are fully subscribed. A key aim of our planned improvements is to improve accessibility, particularly for individuals in wheelchairs and for people with more complex support needs. In addition, by improving the first floor layout we hope to increase the number of people who can take part in activities on that floor at the same time.

The number of adults with a learning disability in Southwark is projected to rise by 5% every year, with Southwark projected to have the third largest population of adults with learning disabilities in London by 2020. To meet this need, particularly for those with higher support needs, it is essential that we improve facilities and increase capacity and accessibility at Riverside so we can support more adults with a learning disability into the future.

Further plans for Riverside include the development of a community garden. This will transform part of the current car park into a garden and outdoor art space for the benefit of all users as well as the local community.

Daniel Moase, Riverside Centre Manager said ‘I want to say a big thank you to the Peter Harrison Foundation and to all the players of the National Lottery whose contributions fund grants distributed through the National Lottery Community Fund for their generous support. Thanks are also due to all the staff and especially the parent and carers who have supported our fundraising efforts. These changes will make a significant difference for all the people we support now and in the future’.