Community services are the backbone of any borough. They provide ample opportunity for collaboration and teamwork while maintaining to offer an economically viable means for young people, or a member of any demographic, to participate within or simply feel a part of the larger community.
Harrow is certainly not apart from the rest of London in the variety of community building services they have on offer, ranging from vibrant young centres to illuminating library resources. So, let’s dive in and take a look at Harrow’s community services.
Across the borough, there are six public libraries, each appropriated to the different area they’re based within.
One of which includes the very aesthetically pleasing Greenhill library. The building itself has an exceptionally modern design, with numerous facilities ranging from a study space, public computers, 2 meeting rooms and a large pavilion, which includes kitchen and toilet facilities.
Another notable mention is Kenton Library. Again, with a building that is outwardly inviting and facilities that are easily accessible, it’s clear that Harrow Council takes great pride in creating spaces for learning, and the distribution of knowledge.
In terms of youth centres on offer, the borough is certainly not limited in the spaces they dedicate to collaboration amongst their younger demographics. From the expansive and widely popular Wealdstone youth centre, located on the high street- it’s certainly hard to miss, to the charity-run ‘Ignite Youth’ centre, whose mantra has a definite chime to it, whilst also ringing true as a representation of the organisation’s principles- to Engage, Empower and Transform!
Whilst on the topic of youth centres, it’s impossible not to mention the grassroots charity organisation, the Young Harrow foundation, whose fundamental goals are to build sustainable, high-quality support services for the youth of Harrow. This is achieved primarily by developing the capacity for partnership within the community through an increase in fundraising opportunities.
The propensity of a borough to create these collaborative spaces for the youth of their district is especially important, and not only because they act as a deterrent from delinquency. They offer a place for young people to get together after school in a space that’s safe, encourages individuality and above all, the creation of and participation within a large community.
It’s worth noting that Harrow also has a number of community centres that are dedicated to the variety of diasporas that reside within the borough. This ranges from the Harrow Association of Somali Voluntary Organisations (HASVO) to Harrow’s Iranian Community Association, the Jaspar Centre, Connect@ Kenton, the Afghan Association of London and even the Sindhi Association of UK. Each organisation is distinctive in their own way, offering different means for the specific communities to collaborate, but nevertheless demonstrative of the diversity within the borough.
Charity-run organisations dedicated to lending a helping hand to the less fortunate are an integral part of Harrow’s community services. The wide array of food banks located within the borough speaks to the willingness of the community to cater to those struggling to put food on the table during the current crisis the nation is facing with the cost of living. Two noteworthy organisations are London’s community Kitchen and Harrow Foodbank.
Ultimately, Harrow is no different to any other borough in the way they attempt to provide spaces and facilities to those who are either in need of assistance, looking for a place to come together and celebrate their cultures, or just spaces for entertainment, learning and leisure. Though the overarching theme that links all these spaces together is a definite sense of fellowship in upholding the larger community of Harrow.