Discover things to do and learn at a community centre near you

Community centres have lots of activities for children, teens and adults

Community centres have lots of activities for children, teens and adults - Credit: Archant

Ellie Stewart, from St Luke’s Community Centre in south Islington, explains what community centres actually do.

Cooking classes teach teens about healthy eating

Cooking classes teach teens about healthy eating - Credit: Archant

For many people, the ongoings of community centres are somewhat of a mystery. If you want to get a better understanding of what kind of social groups and fun activities for adults, teens and children they provide, as well as learn how these centres help the local community, St Luke's in Central Street is opening its doors to everyone across the weekend of May 10, 11, 12. Here, Ellie Stewart preps you on what to expect.

What is a community centre?

When people think of a community centre, they may think of an old, run-down hall. But actually, community centres are inclusive spaces that offer services, activities and many things to do that are social, educational or work related. Community centres are important because they facilitate community engagement through projects that help the local community.

Cooking classes teach teens about healthy eating

Cooking classes teach teens about healthy eating - Credit: Archant

On top of this, community centres offer many indoor activities to do, such as cooking classes and yoga, as well as outdoor activities such as garden groups for local gardeners. St Luke's supports people living with loneliness, financial need or those needing a little extra food, and so every activity or event works towards achieving this.

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There are fitness and cooking classes for personal wellbeing, as well as social events and activities that provide people the opportunity to make new friends. There are also free activities, computer and employment services that are offered to all members.

St Luke's doesn't just cater for people in need either. It is a welcoming, community space where people can come and enjoy themselves, meet friends, read a book, or access our services.

Cooking classes teach teens about healthy eating

Cooking classes teach teens about healthy eating - Credit: Archant

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What can you do at a community centre?

There are many fun things to do at a community centre, however, services and amenities will differ from place to place. Often, centres will rent out rooms and spaces for private use too. St Luke's Community Centre has a new programme of activities, building on all the creative classes and activities for children and adults that we already offer. We have several green spaces for non-gardeners and gardeners to enjoy.

One of the most popular outdoor activities at St Luke's Community Centre is the edible yard, where local gardeners grow fruit, vegetables and herbs. The community garden is also home to a brood of chickens. Many neighbouring school groups come here to learn about healthy eating, which they can then put into practice in one of our cooking classes held at the Central Street Cookery School.

Our cooking classes demonstrate to school groups, adults and families how people can eat healthily on a budget. Ready Steady Cook is a cooking programme for adults, and Family Cook and Eat teaches parents and children how to make healthy recipes that they can then make at home. Each month, the Monthly Cookery Club sees a chef take a themed class, such as vegan cooking. Our on-site café, Central Street Cafe, is open seven days a week. Its profits go towards providng healthy meals for older people in Islington.

How do I become a member?

St Luke's membership is open to people of all ages living in our area. As a charity that is over 500 years old, St Luke's benefits the residents living within the old parish boundaries. Loosely, that's people who live in south Islington. However, people interested in becoming a member should contact the centre for the exact catchment area. It used to be that St Luke's members must be over 55 years of age, however, we are now inviting anyone who lives within our boundary to become a member, regardless of age.

St Luke's Community Centre open weekend

St Luke's is opening its doors to everyone across May 10, 11 and 12 and will host a full programme of events; from a silent disco and comedy show, to cooking and gardening classes to exercise sessions and activities for children.

Locals are invited to drop in and try a new activity or two and learn about the services and events St Luke's provides. People can sign up to become a member throughout the open weekend.

St Luke's Community Centre is holding an open weekend on May 10, 11 and 12, which is open to everyone. For more information and full programme visit

Reception opening times are Monday to Friday 9am to 9pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am to 4pm; 90 Central Street, EC1V 8AJ; 020 7549 8181;

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