Last week [9 December], Ellie Reeves MP cut the ribbon to open the Hawthorn Centre in Penge after extensive refurbishment by Clarion Housing Group which owns and manages thousands of homes in the borough.
The centre operates as a community hub in the heart of the Groves Estate where local Clarion residents can access services provided by Clarion Futures, the Group’s charitable foundation.
Through an appointment-based system, local Clarion residents can access a range of support, including help finding and sustaining employment, access to training and work-related grants and digital skills courses. In addition, residents are able to benefit from Clarion Futures’ device loan scheme which enables people to borrow a laptop or tablet, helping them search and apply for jobs, keep in touch with friends and family or access the best value energy deals.
A range of training courses also take place at the Centre, covering everything from getting online safely and confidently to accredited security, childminding and teaching assistant qualifications, providing a wealth of opportunities for local people.
Clarion residents can also access support from its Money Guidance team, providing practical advice and support to enable them to manage their money, reduce debt and increase their financial resilience.
Ellie Reeves MP said:
“It’s fantastic to see the Hawthorn Centre opening its doors again to provide vital support to the local community. We know that the effects of the pandemic have been huge and wide-ranging, and so I’m particularly pleased to see all the training and employment services on offer at the centre which will, I’m sure, help local residents get back on their feet again.”
Michelle Reynolds, Chief Customer Officer at Clarion Housing Group, said:
“We believe being a good social landlord is about more than building and maintaining homes. Every year through Clarion Futures, we support thousands of people into work, help people manage their money, improve their digital skills and empower people to develop strong connections in the community.
“The Hawthorn Centre is at the heart of our Groves Estate, and we’re excited to welcome local residents back to benefit from the support and opportunities on offer.”