Ealing Centre for Independent Living (ECIL) started as the Ealing Disabled Association on the site we now know as 1 Bayham Road. It was set up to give local disabled people somewhere to go to get advice and take part in activities; a safe place where they could feel they belong.
In 1997, Ealing London Borough Council agreed a deal with the Notting Hill Housing Association: as part of their redevelopment of the land, the housing association would build a community centre especially adapted for disabled people, and charge Ealing a peppercorn rent. The Council recruited a small team of staff and established a user group, with the view to this group eventually running the centre.
The Disability Resource Centre, as it was now known, continued to provide information to support independence for disabled people. In addition, the spacious, accessible and well-equipped facilities provided a suitable and affordable space to run training, meetings and group activities. Priority was given to bookings from smaller, local disability groups. Without the Centre, many of these organisations would not have been able to get started or continue providing their services.
With the popularity of the centre increasing, it wanted to do more to ensure disabled people had greater control over their lives and the services they used, in line with the growing Independent Living Movement across the UK. In 2002 the user group set up as an independently run, disability organisation with charitable status and Ealing Centre for Independent Living (ECIL) was born.
As the only pan-disability organisation in the Borough, operating under the Social Model of Disability, ECIL has since managed its programme of campaigns, projects, events and enrichment activities to empower disabled people to lead full and independent lives and remove barriers.