Located in premises which form part of the local United Reform Church’s buildings and a central focal point of the area, the St Andrew’s centre provides a wide range of services to the local community.
St Andrew’s is a voluntary organisation and the youth group is a registered charity.
Its services span the very young, through the provision of full day care, through to the elderly with the provision of luncheon and day time facilities, in between we work with young people through our after school club and youth clubs, we also run various sessions for under fives and their carers, as well as offering space to other community and self help organisations. (see programme)
The community served is made up of people from various racial and cultural backgrounds with a wide range of social and economic disadvantages.
Geographically, the centre is located on the corner of Brockley and Wickham roads in Brockley, which is the northern part of the London Borough of Lewisham. It is in Ladywell ward close to the border with Brockley and Crofton Park Wards which from it’s main catchment areas. The Housing is mixed, including council estates, a large number of rented, private and local authority housing and owner occupied dwellings. The area is also host to an above average number of various housing projects.
Generally the area reflects the social breakdown and alienation associated with sustained unemployment and problems related to poverty. There is a high level of minor crime and a developed drug culture. These problems are compounded by a high level of individual social isolation added to by very few community resources and open spaces.
Historically the youth clubs started in the 70’s run by volunteers and providing a space for local young people to meet and sound systems to play. In the 80’s Lewisham youth services provided a fulltime youth worker and a team of part time staff, this has grown in to the current services.
The work with younger children started in the 8o’s with a parent end toddlers group and expanded in to a full time nursery with help from funding from the Lewisham for a nursery officer and a community worker, and in 98 we started the after school club with the help of a lottery grant