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About Us

Non-profit making charity

Hammersmith United Charities (H.U.C.), a non-profit making charity, is run in accordance with its Governing Instrument, a Scheme from The Charity Commissioners dated 14th July 1992.

Two main charitable branches

Under the terms of the Governing Instrument, H.U.C. has two main charitable branches:

Almshouse Branch – the provision of sheltered Almshouse accommodation for the elderly poor of the former Metropolitan Borough of Hammersmith (the “area of benefit“)

Relief in Need/Grants Branch – to apply surplus income to relieving need, hardship or distress by making grants to those in need in the area of benefit. Read more about grants/ Relief in Need.

Trustee Body

The Charity has a single, corporate trustee, the Hammersmith United Trustee Company (HUTC). HUTC is a company limited by guarantee not having share capital the objects of which are identical to those of HUC. HUTC is led by 16, volunteer trustees who are its directors. The articles of HUTC stipulate that there should be a total of 16 Trustees. One ex-officio trustee is appointed by the Bishop of Kensington and a second is nominated by the Latymer Foundation. The Local Authority nominates four trustees. A further ten trustees are co-opted by the board to provide the expertise it needs.  Day-to-day management is delegated to, and carried out by, the Clerk to the Trustees who is supported by the Housing and Grants Managers.

Almshouses (or Homes)

H.U.C. provides unfurnished sheltered dwellings, known as Almshouses, specially designed with the needs of older people in mind. The aim is to provide convenient and comfortable accommodation in a setting that allows residents to come and go as they please. Almshouses are very safe and secure and residents are encouraged to make friends and share a wider social life through use of the resident’s lounge and the other available facilities.

Each of our Almshouses has its own, full time Scheme Manager. They visit every resident every day and there is an emergency call system in each flat. The call system is linked to the Scheme Manager when they are on site and, out of working hours, to the “Careline” response service. In an emergency, such as sudden illness or after a fall, any resident can get help quickly at any time. Unusually for the housing sector, our almshouses also have a staff member on duty at weekends and during public holidays.

There are two Almshouse sites, Sycamore House and John Betts’ House.

Sycamore House, has 52 Almshouse flats (10 of which are suitable for couples), a guest flat and offices for the Charity’s almshouses. Read more about Sycamore House

John Betts House has 38 Almshouse flats, some of which are suitable for couples and a guest flat. Read more about John Betts

Both sites have a hall and gardens available for the enjoyment of all residents and where community and social events are held.


As well as encouraging residents to remain as independent as possible, the Charity is keen to foster a strong, supportive sense of community among all its beneficiaries, staff and trustees. Ideas for and help with any social activities are always very welcome.

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