Enigma Lunches — What it is…

“As well as the 456,976 possible starting positions for any set of four wheels, this Enigma machine offers further variations in settings which means that there are 4,134 million possible ways in which it could be set up.” Alan Turing Institute, The British Library

Throughout 2018, in honour of Hammersmith United Charities’ 400th anniversary, we are celebrating the rich diversity of the local area through a curated monthly lunch series called “The Enigma Lunches.”

Inspired by a cross-communal lunch we hosted last year as part of our PhD student, Carolyn Defrin’s research, and Alan Turing’s WWII Enigma Code-cracking (that transpired as a result of a casual chance encounter with a secretary);  we are excited to see what might emerge when different people come together around food, art and casual conversation.

Each month’s lunch will be hosted by different cultural community centres throughout the borough, and showcase associated food and arts activities. Additionally, each lunch will coincide with the republication of a memoir originally published during the 80s and 90s from the Hammersmith and Fulham Ethnic Communities Oral History Project.

Enigma Lunch 1 – “Igniting sparks”

 

The place: LIDO foundation, W11 4TE

The food: Local Somali

The people: guests from local Hammersmith communities including older people housed by Hammersmith United Charities, members affiliated with LIDO Foundation, Anti-Tribalism Movement, and Good Effort for Health and Well-being

The artistic provocation: Music and poetry

The featured oral history: “Somali Sailors”

 

 

– Quick reflections –

By Carolyn Defrin

It took some cajoling to encourage those who didn’t know one another to sit at the same table. Of course it is more comforting to drift towards those we know. I had to consciously remind myself not to linger in the ease of familiar smiles.

But slowly, slowly a young Somali man made his way to sit with some older people housed by Hammersmith United Charities.  I joined a table with Adam Matan, the Director of the Somali organization, Anti-Tribalism Movement, Julian Hilman, a trustee at HUC, Sara, a young mother, and Ulick Tarabanov, the founder of London Sports Trust.

The conversations jumped between music and poetry. Adam told me about the incredible young Somali poet, Farah Gabdon

 

I cleared my plate and got a slice of delicious, homemade spiced cake. When I returned, the dialogue had drifted into some deeper issues of Sara’s struggle to understand the needs of her 16 year-old daughter.

“She likes to fight with people. She loves sports. She wears trainers and sport clothes”

“We’ve just funded a boxing program that will be set up for young girls and boys at the local Phoenix school,” says Julian.

Sara’s eyes light up.

Adam takes her details and will put her in touch.

Sara then turns to me and asks what I do.

“I’ve been working with the charity to understand the role of the arts for local communities.”

“Do I need training to work with communities?” she asks. ”I want to do something with children.”

Liban, our host, gives a brief talk about where we are: in the new digs of his organization, The Lido Foundation. He tells of the early days, finding home in one location and then the next, volunteering time to speak with and help as many children and families from the local Somali migrant community as possible. And the weaving winding way he discovered other amazing Somali organisations in the area and how funders, like Hammersmith United Charities have helped them grow and grow.

Link to Liban’s talk:

Melanie, my co-curator, grants manager, and the Head of Community Partnerships at Hammersmith United Charities, shares the re-publication of the “Somali sailors” –one of many oral histories from the Hammersmith and Fulham Ethnic Minorities Oral History project that is being digitally republished this year as part of the charity’s 400th anniversary.

Link to Melanie speech:

I see Sara again as she is heading out and introduce her to Melanie. Melanie says: “Get my contact details from Sagal, (her friend who invited her, who also runs the wonderful “Good Effort for Health and Well-Being” organization that supports sexual health for women and children.) “This way,” says Melanie, “we can have a chat and speak more about your desires to work in communities.”

So many little sparks are ignited…Let’s see where they lead

Stay tuned for the next Enigma lunch in February to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

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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Nomad Radio: a lifeline for the Somali community

How one of our grants is keeping the station on the airwaves through the coronavirus crisis.

The UK’s only radio station for the Somali community, Nomad Radio broadcasts here in Hammersmith and Fulham. Community-led and bilingual, it’s just received a grant by Hammersmith United Charities to keep it on the airwaves through the coronavirus crisis.

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Get ready for Halloween!

Pumpkin carving tips and ideas

Pumpkin carving

 

You will need: Pumpkin, a marker pen/pencil, a sharp knife, a container to collect the insides.

1.       Health and safety! Make sure you have a steady non-slippy surface, a good hold of the pumpkin and always carve away from yourself.

2.       Use the marker pen to draw a line around the crown and mark the pattern you want to carve.

3.       Use the knife to carve, collect the insides in a container to make delicious pumpkin goodies such as soup, pie and hummus.

4.       Place tealights inside your pumpkin, put the top on and add to your Halloween display! This is John Betts House resident Bryan with his final pumpkin.

5.       If you do not want to use knives, there are some fun alternatives. Check this to find some inspiration!

 

We’d love to see your pumpkin creations: take a picture and tag us on social media!
Twitter @HamUnited
FacebookInstagram @hamunitedcharities

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V with roses

Five minutes with…our community gardener

Victoria helps residents enjoy our gardens and keeps them looking beautiful.

V with roses

It’s difficult to sum up what I love about gardening. It’s everything. How different plants grow, the seasonal and weather changes (even rain!), seeing others enjoy the flowers that appear and how it invigorates all your senses.

I have always loved flowers, trees and plants. I previously worked as an NHS speech and language therapist and before that in education. Over time, I found myself increasingly turning to outdoor work. The more I did, the more the enthusiasm grew, until I was certain that gardening was the career path for me.

I have seen the proof that gardens can be restorative. I encourage our residents to enjoy the gardens as much as possible, whether that’s sitting and looking, or participating in tasks. During the tighter lockdown, they were a safe space for people to sit and relax. Residents said they felt lucky to have them.

Talking to the residents is lovely. It’s great to learn what plants people like in the garden, or what they are doing with their container gardens outside their flats. I love listening to tales from their lives – many people have such interesting stories. It’s quite inspiring and sometimes very funny.

It was a really hot spring and summer but we watered mostly by hand. I could not have done it all without the residents helping me. They were completely brilliant. They often help me with plant names that are new to me (there are so many!), and do daily tasks like open and close the greenhouse and check on the barrel pond at weekends. It really helps. Heading into winter, there will be many jobs to do in the gardens. One of the biggest is mulching, which is adding an enriching and insulating layer of composted material to every bed in the garden. We have lovely things on show, like winter flowering shrubs. The residents often stop to chat about what they can see on their way through the gardens.

There is always some colour throughout the year. Jackie, the head community gardener, has used succession planting. So when certain plants fade, others begin to pop up. There are lots of lovely surprises as the weeks go by. You have no idea the gardens are there from the busy London roads outside. You step into a peaceful, natural space you’re not expecting. When I first visited almost a year ago, I felt the ‘wow’ factor, and I still get that now.

 


Find out more about our sheltered housing

With award-winning communal gardens, our friendly and affordable sheltered housing helps residents live independently for as long as possible.

We have flats available now for older people from Hammersmith. Talk to us on 020 8600 0650 / 07733 842 574, email info@hamunitedcharities.com or read more here.

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