The Kingswood Centre

Date: 09 November 2020

kingswood centre

The Kingswood Centre (KWC) is the jewel in the North London Forensic Service crown.

It is a fantastic centre that opens out onto expansive views of the farmland and greenbelt and offers spaces for vocational, recreational, therapeutic, educational and sport and fitness activities. Co-production, aspirations and engagement are at the heart of the centre with the design and delivery of groups, sessions and workshops developed with service users. 

Walking into the Kingswood Centre you pass a 10m long graffiti wall designed and created by a graffiti artist and service users from all wards in the service. And this is the essence throughout the centre with art work by service users all on walls which have been painted and maintained by service users as part of work experience and vocational skills development. There is a café, shop and library run by service users which offers a range of healthy snacks, toiletries and hot food including pizza, coffee and weekly specials made and served by service users often using eggs collected the KWC chickens and vegetables grown in the gardens.

There are a range of jobs and work experience opportunities across the centre which include ground maintenance of the expansive horticultural haven that incorporates bee keeping where each year award-winning honey is collected and sold in the unit; light industry where service users develop mechanic-based skills taking apart engines, building motorbikes and servicing small items such as lawn mowers and strimmer’s. In the workshop service users make bespoke items of furniture, pens and small gifts as well as jewellery that are sold in pop-up stalls. Most recently the workshops have provided new initiatives with opportunities to develop skills in welding, plumbing and bike maintenance where staff and services users can book their bicycles in for repairs and servicing.

Being in hospital for long periods of time has a significant impact on physical wellbeing and Kingswood Centre offers a range of sport and fitness opportunities with two multi gyms and a large gymnasium. YMCA trained instructors offer 1:1 and group sessions, providing bespoke training packages as well as sports such as football, basketball, tennis and volleyball with regular inter-ward competitions as well as community based football training. Through the CHOICES Recovery College there are a range of workshops that are co-produced and delivered by service users and staff and offer health-based interventions including yoga, Tai Chi, men’s health, nutritional advise, healthy eating, wellbeing for women, and more. The Recovery College also provides workshops and courses on a range of areas such as recovery, co-production, mental and physical wellbeing and  personal development.

The art displays throughout the centre evidences the importance of the arts to the service users both from a therapeutic and recreational perspective. There are groups and individual art and music therapy sessions based in well-equipped music and art room. These facilities also provide opportunities for services to engage in pottery workshops and group art projects. There is a wealth of talent amongst the service users with regular performances of songs and raps that are written and produced in individual studio sessions, learning the art of song-writing and digital production. Each month, service users share their talent and work at open mic evenings with a combination of performed songs and freestyle rapping.

The Kingswood Centre is a space of hope, opportunity and empowerment where service users and staff work together to develop and maintain skills but most importantly it enables people to fully engage in their recovery in safe, creative and supportive space.

Watch the video below about the Kingswood Centre, created by Sarah Hill, Senior Service Lead, Transforming Care Lead and Head Arts Therapist in Specialist Services: 

  • Summary:

    The Kingswood Centre is a space of hope, opportunity and empowerment where service users and staff work together to develop and maintain skills but most importantly it enables people to fully engage in their recovery in safe, creative and supportive space.