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.
We have created a C-19 Committee which is meeting throughout the week to keep abreast of developments and current advice and ensure the Charity responds quickly and appropriately to the changing situation. The office is closed, and most staff will be working from home until further notice. We are asking all non-essential visitors to John Betts House and Sycamore House to stay away and all activities and outings are cancelled until further notice.
We also ask friends and family not to visit unless it is absolutely necessary e.g. to deliver shopping or medication. Essential repairs and maintenance will continue as normal and we have introduced new hygiene routines to ensure that high risk touch points are cleaned more often. Daily welfare checks will be carried out by the Scheme Managers over the phone. We are still accepting applications from potential residents but are unlikely to be able to complete the full admissions process until the crisis is over.
I have written to our grantees to give them the flexibility to spend their grant in whatever way enables them to continue to support their beneficiaries safely. We are working in partnership with Hammersmith and Fulham Council to raise funds for the services providing essential support for the people in Hammersmith and Fulham most at risk from the Coronavirus. This includes children in poverty, people with learning difficulties, rough sleepers and older people. Nearly a third of children in Hammersmith and Fulham live in poverty and 43% of older people live alone.
We were already struggling to meet the needs of our community before the pandemic hit and our grantees are now writing to us to request emergency funding every day. This is truly an emergency and we ask each of you who is able to make a donation to the Hammersmith and Fulham Community Coronavirus Response Appeal today. I will be in touch with all grantees soon to update them on how we will be managing the next round of grants funding in light of the pandemic.
Thank you for your continued support and patience while we adjust to this new way of working. It is an uncertain and anxious time for everyone, but I take comfort that in its 400 year history Hammersmith United Charities and the community around us have made it through disease, war and revolution. We survived that by standing together and we will survive this too.
Victoria Hill, CEO, Hammersmith United Charities
23 March 2020