Torridon Library is becoming a Community Library, Arts and Heritage Centre


The Archibald Corbett Community Library, Arts and Heritage Centre

The Archibald Corbett Society and the Corbett Residents Association have joined forces to create the Archibald Corbett Community Library, Arts and Heritage centre as a charity to take over the management of Torridon Road Library from Lewisham Council in mid-October 2016 as approved by Mayor and Cabinet.
The charity intends to develop the library into a community hub to promote the following charitable purposes:

  • the advancement of education,
    the advancement of arts and heritage
    and the advancement of citizenship and community development for the benefit of residents living primarily within Catford South and surrounding wards with a specific emphasis on services for young and older people.
  • The charity will extend the existing library service to encourage digital inclusion, provide weekly sessions for school groups and weekend tuition for school children and develop family and adult education facilities.

    The Library will become a centre for encouraging local residents to learn about the heritage of the area they reside in and specifically about the legacy of Archibald Corbett, a social housing pioneer who built the Corbett Estate and donated the land for the library which opened in 1907 and sits at the heart of the estate.
    The Charity will also advance the arts through regular exhibitions promoting the work of local artists and hold music recitals featuring local musicians.

    A café will be developed in partnership with a local café chain to create a meeting place for residents and a number of advice services will be available targeted at different age groups.

    The Library will be initially run by volunteers recruited from resident groups in the area and the Charity will focus on developing community capacity-building evolving around the personal development of volunteers and the creation of a strong community hub base.

    It is planned that the following activities will be delivered in the first year of operation and continue in subsequent years.

    • Monthly Dementia Friendly activities to include advice sessions for carers.
    • Videos on awareness of dementia and obesity
    • Digital inclusion classes for young and older people and those with learning disabilities
    • Monthly creative writing/poetry group
    • Reminiscence group to include a social history of the Corbett Estate
    • Healthy eating cookery club for families
    • Career and volunteer advice service for younger people including work experience
    • Homework and IT clubs for younger people, teenage forum.
    • Weekly knitting group
    • Craft activity workshops for children, young people and older people
    • Afternoon music recitals for older people
    • Afternoon teas for the elderly
    • Singalong classes and stories and songs for toddlers and parents/carers
    • A book club with weekly reading sessions plus a second hand bookshop
    • Regular advice sessions for families and older people on health care, benefits including a befriending service
    • Seated pilates/yoga
    • Weekly sessions for both primary and secondary schools
    • Parent and child activity mornings exploring different authors/illustrators
    • Baby and Toddler singing and story groups, baby bounce
    • Creative art and writing workshops for young children including colouring club
    It is anticipated, by providing a wider range of services, many specifically targeted at the older population and those that are seldom heard and hard to reach in Catford South and surrounding wards, that the Library will become the focus for residents of all ages including those with learning/physical disabilities to meet and take part in activities which will draw the community together and create greater cohesion within the ward.

    By linking in arts and heritage to complement the library, together with a professionally run café and a business hire centre, the venue will create impact across all sectors of the local community to include young people learning new skills and being encouraged to volunteer, activities for families and a wide range of opportunities for older people to become integrated into community life.

    It will also be an opportunity for cementing relationships with Sandhurst, Torridon and Conisborough College schools, creating greater benefit for local school children.

    It is anticipated that the result of this impact will create future networking and linking opportunities that will encourage the development of further projects fulfilling specific identified needs and creating a stronger community.


    About Author

    Hi. I am the coordinator for the Catford South Local Assembly and a friend of all things Catford :-)

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