In Spring 2022, Creative Lives caught up with Sukera, Community Co-ordinator at Greenwich West Community and Arts Centre. This independent, community-managed facility is located in Greenwich, South East London and has been going since 1994.

We talked through some of the challenges the Centre is facing as it emerges from the pandemic, the fantastic community initiatives that make the centre what it is today, and how more people can get involved to share in the spirit of the place. 

Creative Lives also took part in a ‘Creating Ground’ workshop during Refugee Week, to meet the group and experience some of the amazing initiatives happening at the Centre. 


In 1994, Greenwich West Community and Arts Centre ceased to be run by the Royal Borough of Greenwich Council, and became a community managed facility. An Industrial & Provident Society was constituted to manage the Centre and the associated Haddo and Orchard Halls. Greenwich West is a not-for-profit organisation, funded independently through fees from space hire. Today, rooms can be hired across all three sites for one-off events as well as regular programming. 

The Centre

The main site is The Centre, located on Greenwich High Road. The Centre building is 153 years old and has spectacular original features. There is a gallery for art exhibitions, as well as rooms of various sizes for hire, including a beautiful large hall. The vibrant not-for-profit community café, G-west has also just reopened since lockdown, both for café dining and catering. 

Sukera, who grew up locally, explains how many of the community centres she used to go to no longer exist, which is why she is determined to keep Greenwich West going strong.

There is so much that can be done in this centre, in every centre. Greenwich West is a safe haven. A lot of people here have now become friends - there are lots of memories for people here, and lots more to come. It’s very diverse - probably one of the most diverse places in Greenwich.

We have every walk of life come through the door, and stay! It’s a positive, beautiful, diverse centre.

The Team 

Greenwich West is run by a small, hardworking team of five people, supported by Service Assistants and a team of excellent volunteers. There is always scope for more volunteers to get involved to support the daily tasks running the community centre. Do get in touch if you are interested in being part of the Greenwich West volunteer community!


Regular programming is targeted at all ages, with existing activities including, yoga, therapy, dance, football and martial arts. Greenwich West also hosts a variety of community orientated support groups, including London Deaf Information Services Creative Families and Creating Ground. 

Emerging from the Pandemic

While lots of activity was paused during the pandemic, a few elements of community programming at Greenwich West were allowed to continue, such as Little Kickers - sports skills for ages 18 months to 8 years. However it has taken a while for the programming to be as full as it was before the pandemic, with events such as G-West Café open-mic night still on pause. 

What’s Next?

The hope is that with fresh ideas after the pandemic, more of the amazing Greenwich West community space can be activated by people who want to run an activity. Space hire ranges from by the hour, day or week - so there is plenty of flexibility for those wanting to test ideas. Next up will be a script reading programme for adults who wish to develop their acting skills. 

Get involved 

Got an idea for a creative group or community activity you want to run? Get in touch to find out how to make Greenwich West a home for your activity, in a space where everyone is welcome.