In Camden one of the biggest barriers for small groups wanting to establish a sustainable community presence is the lack of access to affordable premises, and a lack of capacity to manage premises.
Many small groups have no premises or are in short-term, run-down, or isolated accommodation and struggle to manage premises on their own.
VAC is an active member of a partnership set up to support groups to deal with these issues. The partnership comprises VAC, Camden Black & Minority Ethnic Alliance, Volunteer Centre Camden, Camden Training Network, Disability in Camden (DISC), the Camden LGBT Forum, Circle Anglia, St Pancras Housing, One Housing Group, and the London Borough of Camden.
The partnership is a charitable and limited company called the Community Assets Enterprise (CAE). Its aim is to provide high quality, affordable and environmentally-friendly office and activity space to small groups. Our vision is that such accommodation would be accessible; would promote interaction, synergy and efficiency by enabling the sharing of common facilities and services; and that local groups would also be able to benefit from a CAE facilities management service.
In 2008 we established a premises website to help groups find accessible premises in the borough, and to put groups in touch with others who may be looking for similar space. Click here to visit the “Camden Community Space” website.
In 2009 we worked with London Borough of Camden to organise a Community Premises Event for local groups to explore premises issues and input into the local Community Premises Strategy. (Click here for a report on the event.)
In 2010 we are continuing to work on models for joint working on premises issues.
Simone Hensby, VAC Director
Tel: 020 7284 6555 (Typetalk: 18001-020 7284 6555)