Collaborating for the benefit of the local community by Hannah Camm, the Francis Crick Institute

One of the strengths of the Knowledge Quarter is its aim to encourage collaboration across the rich seam of organisations and people living and working locally.

As a member of the Knowledge Quarter from the start, the idea of collaboration resonates with us at the Francis Crick Institute. It lies at the heart of our work.

Doing ground-breaking discovery research and finding new ways to diagnose, prevent and treat illnesses relies on people sharing ideas. And we foster collaboration in many ways; through our new building, designed to encourage the mixing of minds, to our landmark partnership between the UK’s three largest funders of biomedical research (the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK and the Wellcome Trust) and three of its leading universities (University College London, Imperial College London and King’s College London).

Now, in a bold move that strengthens local collaboration even further, we’re delighted to announce that a group of key community organisations have come together with the Crick for the benefit of local people and this vital and vibrant area.

A group of Camden charities – the Living Centre Partners – have won the contract to run the Living Centre, the community space attached to the Crick that will help improve health and wellbeing locally. The first new community space to be built in Somers Town for more than 15 years.

The group is led by Somers Town Community Association, a member of the KQ and an organisation that is well-known and has been working with the community for more than 30 years.

Joining Somers Town Community Association in the consortium are Citizens Advice Camden, Voluntary Action Camden, Age UK Camden, Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre, Healthwatch Camden, Origin Housing and Training Link.

Together, the Living Centre Partners form a strong network and will create a unique community resource, where local people will help to design, deliver and use services.

The Living Centre sits at the heart of the Crick’s local community engagement programme and we’re delighted to be working with the Living Centre Partners, supporting them to create something that offers local people high-quality services that really complement and add value to those that already exist.

Many people have helped us get to this point; from everyone locally who told us what they wanted to see at the Living Centre, to the local residents and organisations on our fantastic Living Centre working group.

We’re excited about what this fruitful partnership will bring to the KQ.

Together with the Crick, the Living Centre Partners will spend the next few months setting up the Living Centre, with launch and opening to the public expected in January 2017.

For more information contact the author, Hannah Camm or register your interest in hearing more by emailing the Living Centre Partners