Caxton House is a community centre based in Islington, North London. The centre supports a multitude of complex social issues, such as mental health, long term health challenges, health inequalities, poverty, unemployment and social isolation covering every generation from young to old.
In pre-pandemic times you would find the centre full of hustle and bustle with activities for under 5s, free counselling and Family Legal Advice, fitness classes, education sessions, training, craft classes and workshops.
Much like the events industry the centre had to pivot during the pandemic to support the community even when they couldn't be physically reached. Caxton House put on virtual cooking classes and send out accompanying cooking kits to Islington residents; offered befriending phone services for those who were isolated; hosted "Help your Neighbour" foodbanks, where food was donated by the community for the community in a drive to assist those who were left in food poverty as a result of the pandemic; and provided virtual craft and fitness classes.
As we ease out of lockdown the centre is gearing up to welcome guests in real life again with a revamp of their garden and reception areas. With funds better used for services to support those in need, especially with increased demand due to the pandemic, Caxton House reached out to Event Cycle to source some furniture to help.
Kindness came in the hands of a client who had been broadcasting during the pandemic in a studio nearby. No longer in need of the furniture for the virtual events, we matched them with Caxton House with our local-first approach and housed the items 20 minutes down the road. From broadcasting one day to being socially beneficial on another and for many more days to come.
“Our building was built in the 70s and has a number of quirky and awkward design features, one of which was a large brick and wood-clad area in reception, of little use other than uncomfortable ‘splintery’ seating.
For years, we have wanted to update the area and finally managed to remove the old dais with the help of some volunteers but it remained bare. With a big thank you to Event Cycle and their donors, we now have a smart, friendly seating area in reception, all ready to go for our residents, once we’re allowed to fully reopen and sit closer together.
As you’ll see from the pictures, we have the photo of ‘the old dais area being demolished’, then the ‘we can’t use these yet’ photo and finally the ‘this is what we will look like soon’ photo. A couple of our residents are asking daily when we will be at stage 3 of the unlocking of the chairs!”
Sue Collins, Caxton House Community Centre
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