Hammersmith reflections

A blog written by our Trustees - this time Sam Deards

I joined Hammersmith United Charities as a trustee back in 2014 and since then have seen the charity grow and I have got to know intimately what the charity does and aims to do in the future.

I grew up and went to school in Hammersmith and have always loved the area for its rich history and diversity. I didn’t know anything about the Charity before I was recommended by a friend to meet with Melanie and Tim, but have been very encouraged by the work it does in trying to help the less well off and connecting people from all backgrounds to increase greater community cohesion and neighbourliness.

I sit on the housing committee and have become chair of the grants committee, as well as attending board meetings. I have sat on the admissions panel for a couple of sets of admissions to the sheltered housing and have learned a lot and been moved by the life stories of people that we met and the decisions that had to be made. It also gave me a greater understanding of the social housing landscape and needs in Hammersmith.

As chair of the grants committee, I have seen how grants are so important to enable really worthwhile activities and help in the local community. Some of the issues that we have tried to tackle include isolation, mental health, anti tribalism, integration and community cohesion.

Some events I particularly have enjoyed are the “Enigma” and art discussion lunches that have pulled various people from the local community, together with residents of Sycamore and JB house to discuss art and poetry and what it means to them. It was great to see people chatting and discussing things that they wouldn’t normally discuss and with people that they probably wouldn’t come in to contact with on a day to day basis, but live side by side. Another was the film screening at the Lyric theatre last year. There was an impressive array of contributions from hugely diverse organisations and individuals. To me it succinctly expressed so many ideas and illustrated so many things about the local area from different viewpoints.

I also sit on the board of the Wormholt and White City Big Local Board (Hammersmith United Charities match funds). This gives a greater insight into this particular area and the challenges faced from this diverse community. A particular highlight has been to see the community chest expand and succeed and a great festival last summer with a great array of stalls, food, music and celebration.

Finally, on a slightly separate note, I am also a trustee for the Hammersmith and Fulham Arts Festival which has been going since 2014 and has really grown and expanded in the local area. This year we have got funding from the Arts Council  England, together with funds from Hammersmith United Charities and the local council to put on “JOY” a celebration of disability in the borough and will also form part of the 400 year celebration for the Charity. It is wonderful to be involved in this and bringing together different organisations and people, to give a greater voice and freedom to people living with disabilities.

 

Sam Deards

Hammersmith United Charities Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

In line with Government advice, Hammersmith United Charities has invoked our Business Continuity Plan and implemented a new operating model focussed on keeping the residents of our Almshouses, our team, contractors and partners safe and well during the Coronavirus pandemic. (more…)

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The City Bridge Trust awards £180,000 for the development of UNITED in Hammersmith & Fulham

The City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, has awarded £180,000 to Hammersmith United Charities for the development of UNITED in Hammersmith & Fulham as a place-based giving in the diverse London borough. The project links those who want to support the community with local causes in-need that will best use their investment.

The grant will be released over five years (£47,000; £43,000; £37,000; £31,000; £22,000) with a focus on core funding.

Dhruv Patel, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, said: “At a time when public finances continue to be under significant strain, place-based giving schemes like UNITED in Hammersmith & Fulham are playing a really important role in tackling disadvantage in London.

“By using their grassroots knowledge of the issues which matter to local people and matching those who want to  help their community with causes in need of support, they’re doing a fantastic job of building stronger communities and helping to make the borough a fairer place in which to live and work.”

Victoria Hill, CEO of Hammersmith United Charities said “We are grateful for the support of the City Bridge Trust to further our mission to revive the spirit of local philanthropy in partnership with Dr Edwards and Bishop King’s Fulham through the creation of UNITED in Hammersmith & Fulham.

“It will help continue the work that has already reached tens of thousands of people in need and bring people together to make Hammersmith and Fulham a borough where everyone thrives.”

Kevin McGrath DL OBE, Chair of UNITED in Hammersmith & Fulham, said “This grant from the City Bridge Trust means we can further important work to make our London borough a fairer place in which to work and live.

“We call for local individuals, businesses and institutions to partner with us through our activities, to ensure that local causes which are most in-need, such as homelessness, isolation, health inequality and racial disparity, are recognised and responded to in the most effective way possible.”

The City Bridge Trust, which was founded in 1995, gives £25m a year to charities fighting inequality and disadvantage in London.

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Black Lives Matter

We stand in solidarity with those making their voices heard in the fight against systemic racism.

Hammersmith United Charities stands in solidarity with those making their voices heard in the fight against systemic racism.

As a community charity in one of the most diverse areas of the UK, valuing equality and diversity is central to the way we work and we are committed to the fight against racism and prejudice.

We have a duty to the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people living in our Almshouses or working alongside us in our staff team, board and community partners to speak up. We want to let them know that we stand with them and against injustice and intolerance.

We believe that to be silent is to be complicit and so Hammersmith United Charities says with one voice that Black Lives Matter.

 


June 5th 2020: Tonight at 10pm Hammersmith & Fulham Council will be lighting Hammersmith Town Hall purple as H&F takes the knee and says with one voice that Black Lives Matter. Full statement from H&F Leader Stephen Cowan:

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Grants Awarded April 2020

Hammersmith United Charities Coronavirus Crisis Funding

We are proud of our grantees’ heroic response to the coronavirus crisis. Our community has acted swiftly to find radical new ways to support local vulnerable people whilst observing social distance rules; ramped up capacity to cope with a massive surge in demand; and, showed courage and commitment in the face of frightening and uncertain circumstances.

In April 2020 the Trustees were pleased to award the following grants in response to the coronavirus crisis.

The next award of grants is due in September 2020, further details will be published closer to the time. Please keep an eye on the grants section of our website.

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H&F CAN and UNITED Community fund

UNITED in Hammersmith & Fulham has launched a Coronavirus (Covid-19) Community Fund for local non profit organisations. Find all the information and the link to the online application form: (more…)

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