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MP cuts the ribbon to open refurbished community hub


A community centre in Penge has welcomed residents back through its doors after an extensive revamp by Clarion Housing Group, with the official reopening marked by a visit from Ellie Reeves MP.

The Hawthorne Centre, which is located in the heart of the Groves Estate, offers local Clarion residents access to a wide variety of services provided by Clarion Futures, the Group’s charitable foundation.

Through an appointment-based system, local Clarion residents can access a wide range of support, including help finding and sustaining employment, access to training and work-related grants and digital skills courses. In addition, residents can benefit from Clarion Futures’ device loan scheme, which enables people to borrow a laptop or tablet, helping them search and apply got 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.

In addition, support from Clarion’s Money Guidance team is also on hand. The team provides practical guidance to enable residents to manage their money, reduce debt and increase their financial resilience.

Clarion resident, Samuel, said: “The support explaining Clarion Futures’ digital services was very good. They provided a very clear explanation of the services available and my partner and I have greatly benefitted from these services. We have attended a number of online digital skills training sessions that were very good. We will be using Clarion Futures services in the future.”

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, 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 connection 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.”

Find out more about the support that’s available, or to book an appointment, email us or call 0300 500 8000.