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akerman health centre external showing three storey building with light brown brick and large glass windows. Akerman sign on the roof

New Wellbeing Hub at Akerman Health Centre, South London provides support for local residents

A new Wellbeing Hub has been created at Akerman Health Centre in South London, offering free bookable space for a range of local community groups to use in their work to improve health and wellbeing in hard-to-reach communities. Regular sessions are now available for Lambeth residents.

The Akerman Health Centre in Patmos Road, Camberwell opened in 2012 and has grown to become a vital part of the local community, with the 4-storey building offering GP surgeries, dentistry, midwifery, children’s services and other community services all under one roof in a purpose-built building.  CHP is head tenant at Akerman Health Centre.

To ensure the building continues to serve the changing needs of the local area, in 2021 a ‘Community Needs Analysis’ was commissioned by Fulcrum Infrastructure Group – a leading healthcare investor who helped to deliver Akerman Health Centre with Community Health Partnerships (CHP) under the NHS LIFT Programme. 

 

akerman health centre external showing three storey building with light brown brick and large glass windows. Akerman sign on the roof

Fulcrum’s analysis recommended that space in the building should be provided to organisations focussed on combatting deprivation and improving health and wellbeing in hard-to-reach communities. As a result, Fulcrum, CHP and other partners supported work to reconfigure the Akerman’s ground floor space, creating five bookable rooms to be made available free of charge to community groups.

Diverse community groups use the Akerman Wellbeing Hub

The newly created space became the Akerman Wellbeing Hub and it is used by several community organisations, offering a range of important services to local residents including:

  • ClearCommunityWeb – a south London-based social enterprise focussed on helping people feel more confident and comfortable with technology, providing classes, workshops and individual support for older people, vulnerable adults, carers and families. A new series of weekly sessions at Akerman start from Friday 24 February from 10am-12pm – for further details visit clearcommunityweb.co.uk/lambeth
  • The Well Centre – a young persons’ clinic run by Herne Hill Group Practice, where a team of youth workers, mental health nurses and well-being practitioners provide young people aged 13-21 with support across all physical, mental, and sexual health needs. For further details visit thewellcentre.org
  • Carers Hub – an independent charity who offer a safe space for young carers (age 12-16) to socialise and make new friends, and to experience benefits such as decreased feelings of loneliness and isolation, and increased promotion of their wellbeing and mental health. For further details visit carershub.org.uk
  • LEAP Multilingual Café – LEAP (Lambeth Early Action Partnership) is a multi-agency partnership, running a wide range of free events for young children and families. At Akerman, the LEAP Multilingual Café was introduced to support young families with English as a second language, many of whom experience social isolation due to language barriers. For further details visit leaplambeth.org.uk

There are more sessions starting in February/March 2023.

The Akerman Wellbeing Hub shows how much can be achieved by taking a thriving health centre and opening it up to an even wider range of local organisations, allowing residents to access some vital new services and activities in the heart of the community. To see the new Wellbeing hub already being used by a range of community groups is hugely encouraging, and our focus is now on opening the space up further so that even more local organisations can join us in supporting the health and well-being of local residents.

This Wellbeing Hub is an initiative which works well across other buildings in the CHP portfolio. We are very pleased with the support Fulcrum are providing for the local community which enables them to share a community space for a much wider use. Building on this, I can see that additional integration of services for the community by voluntary organisations can only benefit local people as they see that the building is viewed as ‘theirs’. It was always the original design intention that the building became core to the community and not just for Monday to Friday healthcare and CHP wholeheartedly supports this idea.

Akerman community wellbeing hub delivering social value

For the initial few months, the Akerman Wellbeing Hub has been run at partial capacity, but early research has shown it is already delivering clear benefits, with analysis showing that for every £1 invested in the facility, over £19 in social value has been created. Building on this, Fulcrum, CHP and other partners are now focussed on bringing the Wellbeing Hub up to full capacity in 2023 to allow even more local organisations to use the space.

Buildings at the heart orange heart and teal building logo

Find out more Buildings at the Heart of the Community

CHP’s Buildings at the Heart of the Community initiative aims to encourage local community groups and charities to make the most of our buildings by enabling the use of space in our centres to host health and wellbeing related events.

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