MP for Hornsey and Wood Green
After meeting residents in the morning to talk through individual cases, I went off to the Cypriot Community Centre. It is a model for how community centres can really not only support a particular community but also help perform the functions of the local authority to a group of residents who might not access them through other channels so easily or so happily. I’ve visited previously, but this was my first visit as MP for the area.
Susie Constantinides and Chris Stylianou showed me around and what struck me most was the warmth of the atmosphere and the intermingling of the different groups. The general area was full of older gentleman (I don’t know how to put that more politely) who clearly enjoy coming for a right old natter. And they were all very sweet and welcoming to m. At other times of day women come or young people come. In the same large space, but over to one side, were older disabled people who had a large TV to watch – but were still part of the general community. In other rooms there were older people with various challenges – be that age, mental health or physical – and all cared for. The centre is really several centres rolled into one – providing meals, physio, care, socialisation, occupation, classes, meeting rooms, performance space, advisory services and so on. I can’t go into the details of all that they do here – but suffice to say – that they really do perform a vital function for the community – largely Cypriot although open to all.
One of the services they offer is to provide a Cypriot food version of meals on wheels. They brought up the issue of the price people have to pay for the meals on wheels service if they are not part of a total care package but rather getting just the meals. I promised to take up this point with Haringey Council.