AoD's New Home
Work is progressing on AoD’s new home in Clement Atlee Court despite the inevitable Covid-related delays – and we now hope to get the keys in June 2021. Our aim throughout has been to design a centre that is fully accessible as well as welcoming and inspiring, without the “institutional” feel often associated with disability.
The new centre is being built by Hammersmith & Fulham Council, working with Shepherds Bush Housing Group. Councillor Ben Coleman, H&F’s Cabinet Member for Health & Adult Social Care, has told us, “We want to make our borough the best for Disabled people in the country. Building a new office and community space from which Action on Disability can continue its essential work is part of this.”
Image: Councillor Ben Coleman, H&F’s Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care
Each aspect of the building has undergone scrutiny, from the height of electrical sockets and zoning of lighting, to the use of non-reflective surfaces throughout and a fully-accessible kitchen design. In this we thank our tireless volunteer Architect, Maria, for her hard work.
Thanks to the support of Shepherds Bush Housing, H&F Council and AoD’s successful fundraising – from the GLA, the Wolfson Foundation, ScrewFix Foundation and our members – we have now raised the funds needed to pay the builders for fixtures and fittings – the hearing loop, automatic doors, shower facilities for the Changing Places toilet, accessible cycling facilities, and many others.
Our remaining project is now to raise funds for equipment and furniture, particularly for the public areas.
- Projectors, screens, chairs, and folding tables for the 35-seater training room which can be divided in two for flexible use. These rooms will enable AoD to host events for employers and training for disabled people seeking work, as well as providing meeting spaces for the peer support groups. The rooms will also be available for booking by local charities and community groups
- The Reception area needs a glass screen to separate the office from the reception area, adjustable desks for the reception volunteers, seating for visitors, etc
- A safe and robust one-touch hot water tap for the kitchen.
- Comfortable chairs and tables for the Welfare Benefits advice and interview rooms
- Fire extinguishers for each room
First, a big thanks to all who responded to the consultation on the outdoor area, particularly those who expressed an interested in forming a gardening group. Stella, AoD’s new volunteer co-ordinator, will be touch with you shortly.
We hope that by next summer, an improvement in the Covid situation will allow these activities:
- We need more members for the gardening group which will work with our landscape designer, Helen Allen, on design and planting.
- Next summer we will need volunteers to design and build bespoke furniture and storage for the garden and reception among other projects taking place between handover of keys and official opening. We hope to team up with an organisation that specialises in this type of volunteering and are especially interested to hear from people who would be interested in gaining a trades qualification (eg in woodwork) while volunteering.
- We already have our first piece of artwork – a mural created by the Youth Service – for the reception area. But more artwork is needed for the interior and the garden. Are you an artist? Do you know any disabled artists? Any experience with creating sensory sculptures?
- We are also seeking to recruit volunteers who can commit to one or two half days per week as receptionists in the new building.
If you are interested in getting involved in any of the above, please email Stella, our volunteer co-ordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org