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

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…)

Read More ...

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.


Read More ...

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

Read More ...
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.

Read More ...