Why do we need LDN’s Community Hub in Westminster?

BY: Ciaran Willis

CATEGORY: Blog, News

What is The Hub?

The LDN London Community Hub is a unique place for people with a learning disability. It is based at 389A Harrow Road, W9 3NA, near Westbourne Park.

We run sessions and workshops, with help from some experts, on many topics. We help people to live a healthy and independent life. The subjects include budgeting, health and mental health, relationships, voting, self-advocacy, job skills and lots more.

We also support groups to go to museums, concerts and other events.

We particularly help people who don’t get many hours of support. Because of cuts to funding, people with learning disabilities often don’t get as much assistance as they need.

One of our main aims at The Community Hub is to stop social isolation and loneliness for people with learning disabilities and autism. The Hub is a place to spend time with friends and share experiences, and to support and help each other.

We also are here to give advice. And we can tell you where you can go to get more advice and support if you need it from local experts.

We have lots of experience supporting people with learning disabilities. We make sure that the workshops are right for people we support, and we give out information that is easier for people to understand, including Easy Read.

It is free to come to The Hub and you can visit without a referral.

People with learning disabilities lead The Hub

People with learning disabilities choose the activities and workshops that we do at The Community Hub. Our coproduction group, with 8-12 people with learning disabilities, meets every month. They tell us what they thought of activities and what they want to do in the future.

We also support people with learning disability to ‘self-advocate’. This means they speak up or communicate about their rights, what they want and what they think about society. We believe it is important that people with learning disabilities are the ones who lead the project and are heard.

Some of our workshops, such as on voting, help with this. Voting gives people the chance to have their say and make society work better for them.

If you are interested in volunteering with us at The Hub, please get in touch!

We learn a lot from people who come to The Community Hub. We also visit organisations and businesses to educate them about learning disabilities.

And volunteers also come to The Hub to run workshops and meet people and learn from them. We tell organisations how they can make society a better place for people with learning disabilities.

Why do we need The Hub?

There are not many places where people with learning disabilities can get help in Westminster. Many people need more help though because they find everyday tasks difficult.

Unfortunately, lots of people with learning disabilities are lonely or struggle with their mental health. The charity Hft has found that 1 in 3 people with a learning disability feel lonely some or all the time. We want to make people feel less lonely, to make friends and feel included.

There are also lots of other areas of life that people with learning disabilities are not equal. Not many people with learning disabilities have jobs and workplaces are not adapted for them. People with learning disabilities also get worse healthcare.

Lots of people who have a learning disability also don’t get to do important things that others do: like to go to work and earn money, have a girlfriend or boyfriend, enjoy the theatre, concerts, or other events. They should be able to do all of these though (and they can, but sometimes need some help).

At the Hub we help people who are facing these issues, and change our community for the better.

We try to create a more inclusive community and to help people with a learning disability have more of a voice in Westminster and across the UK.

Come and join us! Contact lbaptista@ldnlondon.org or lswan@ldnlondon.org

If you work for an organisation in London, why not volunteer at The Hub?


The Hub team:

Luana Baptista, Head of Community team

My name is Luana and I moved from the island of Madeira to the UK when I was a teenager. Before this job, I worked in social prescribing for Groundwork, Age UK and Royal London Hospital. I have worked at The Hub for a year and have enjoyed meeting lots of new people. I like being active and having fun and helping people who come to The Hub to do the same. In my spare time I play basketball for a team called the Tower Hamlets Trojans.

Laurence Swan, Community Manager

I am originally from Scotland and moved to London in 1988. I started as a support worker at LDN 26 years ago. I live with my husband in Finchley in North London. I enjoy going to the theatre and feel lucky to see the amazing shows in London, art and visiting galleries, films and music. My most recent hobby is gardening, although I am still learning!

Colin Doyle, Community Coordinator

Hi, I am Colin! I joined LDN London a few months ago. I have a background in support work, events, and multimedia design. I recently moved to London from the Northeast of England. I am getting to know the city and what it’s got to offer. I’ve been on some great trips with The Hub so far, including to the British Museum and Westminster Abbey.


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