Castlehaven Community Association

Castlehaven Community Association

At a glance


  • Children / families
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Gardens and parks
  • Health and well being / research and care
  • Learning disabilities / difficulties
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender
  • Local / community
  • Men
  • Mental health
  • Older people / later life
  • Sports
  • Voluntary sector support
  • Women
  • Young people

Other details

Organisation type: 
Geographical remit: 


Castlehaven is no ordinary community centre. It’s premises, just to the west of Camden Lock, do serve local people, but to think ‘village hall’ is to start at the wrong end of an evolutionary journey of almost 37 years that has seen Castlehaven Community Association (CCA) grow from a small building based service provider into a dynamic agency for social change constantly searching for new more effective ways of alleviating social problems old and new.

What are these problems?  Parts of CCA’s catchment area are defined (nationally) as being in the 6% most deprived in terms of multiple deprivations, it’s immediate environ is a typical densely populated inner city area, where large blocks of high rise social housing crowd together the problems of poverty and social disadvantage. Hence, many of those living in the Camden Town Ward are:

  • young people from single parent families who are significantly below national standards for basic educational skills.
  • older people living on their own, in poor health and with reduced life expectancy.
  • new arrivals, families from Africa or Southern Asia, eventually housed close to their London arrival points, the  Euston, King’s Cross and St Pancras railheads, struggling through language and cultural barriers to find their feet  in direct competition with previous waves of more established migrants from Ireland or the Caribbean.
  • long term unemployed, young people and adults who, lacking skills, qualifications, confidence or work experience, cannot break into a new ‘austerity’ labour market where they are competing with over-skilled experienced workers for entry level jobs.
  • acute housing shortages creating acute stresses within families by forcing too many members from several generations to live together in cramped conditions.
  • The area’s proximity to Camden Lock market has attracted high levels of drug trading, crime and anti-social behaviour. 
  • Finally the austerity economy has added an extra dimension by cutting services, reducing benefits and depressing job prospects.


What has been CCA’s response? These problems are all moving plates that constantly slide together and cause fractures in both families and society, pitching young against old, ‘haves’ against ‘have-nots’, leaving people isolated and divided along lines of ethnicity, postcode, age and culture. CCA, an independent charity with a mix of public and private funders, has responded by designing & delivering new approaches to these problems that, whether building or community based, bring people together, growing new social links and acquaintanceship to replace those lost or needed. A long list of such initiatives includes:

  • Children & Young People (8-19yrs) 
  • Health Haven (Over 18's)
  • Older People (60yrs+)
  • Environmental Project (All ages)
  • Emergency Foodbank 
  • LGBTQIA+ (Over 18's)
  • Community Events
  • Social Brokerage

Castlehaven  belongs to a new breed of community centres, not just a building but more an entrepreneurial force within the community, devoted to promoting social cohesion and bringing about change.

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