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B A R B I C A N L I F E


finances back to a position when in a 100 years, or even 200 years time, people can still benefit from the generosity of our benefactors of centuries ago. To do this the Trust is selling a strip


of land next to the community centre for housing development. This will provide a mixture of social housing for families, as well as private flats for sale on the open market. The sales proceeds will hopefully restore its finances. The St Lukes Centre building provides a space for local people to gather and socialise, and for the Trust, and other organisations, to deliver services and activities to the local community. It also works outside in the community supporting other groups and running community events. The trust’s charitable aim is to


improve the conditions of life for the people living in the area of benefit. It believes that providing a community centre and services in the area will help break down barriers within the neighbourhood. It contributes towards the area being welcoming, safe, healthy, alive with activity, and neighbourly. Talking to Keren Wiltshire, the


Community Centre’s Director of Services she commented that although technically the Barbican doesn’t fall within the charity’s catchment area, when they receive membership requests they are flexible to enquiries received from residents who live so close to the boundary line – hence they already have a number of Barbican resident members who are also regular visitors. Even residents who live further into


the City (e.g. most of the Barbican Estate), can still use many of the services available from St Luke’s – including the very reasonably priced


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café, cookery school, hairdressing salon etc. If space is available, older residents from outside the St Luke’s catchment area may also join in the over 55s classes but will be asked to pay a nominal fee of £2 per class. The Growbags to Gourmets project,


which we covered in our Summer issue, also specifically targets older City residents. This involves help in growing your own produce – even if space only allows for growing a few herbs on your windowsill, salad leaves in window boxes, or edible flowers. The scheme also includes home visits to see what space is available, what you might be interested in growing and what support you might need to help you do so. Everything you need to get started would be provided. The project is free to participate in. (For further details on Growbags to Gourmets contact Heather Stabler at st Lukes Centre on 020 7549 8197 or 07983 508 076).


Facilities and activities The St Luke’s Centre refurbishment programme has already resulted in some major changes – most notably in the remarkably low priced restaurant


section where we commented here in Barbican Lifea few issues back that one can purchase a full meal for around the price of a sandwich in many City sandwich shops! It also has a most impressive cookery teaching facility which also plays host to the Central Street Cookery School which hosts regular commercially run cookery classes, but also subsidised cookery tuition for members. (The editor recently attended a cookery demo at this location for the press launch of The Recipe Kit – see page 42). There is a splendid computer centre


with around 15 computers which Centre visitors may use to access the internet – and this also plays host to computer tuition for older members free of charge – or you may take your own laptop in to make use of the Centre’s free-to-access wifi system. The St Luke’s Centre provides and


hosts over 65 weekly activities ranging from after-school clubs to care for the elderly, from cookery projects to corporate volunteering for City employees. It has a great range of facilities including a good number of meeting rooms – much in demand for corporate hire – with two of them seating up to 100 people classroom style. There are exercise classes, many


social events, and the centre organises daytrip outings too - all at subsidised prices for members. It offers legal and financial advice through specialist visiting professionals, has a hairdressing service – indeed one should visit the centre to find out all the options offered to members , many of which are available to non-members too. Truly a remarkable facility and only a short distance from the Barbican.


The café which serves such tremendous value meals. Note: This photograph was taken during the refurbishment and the computers seen at the back of the room have now all been relocated to the computer centre.


The hugely impressive cookery school facility


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