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The London Funders’ perspective

Find out how London Funders supports funders in Hammersmith and Fulham and its wider membership to meet the needs of London’s communities.

By Geraldine Tovey, Membership, Communication and Policy Manager at London Funders

Some charities in Hammersmith and Fulham may have heard of us, but I know that we’ll be unfamiliar to many. London Funders are the network for funders and investors in London’s civil society. We’re the place where funders come together to connect and collaborate, where ideas are generated and acted on, and where people work to ensure that resources are channelled to the right places. Over 170 funders – from across independent, public and private sectors – are members, and they provide support to thousands of organisations across the capital.

London Funders supports the funding community in every borough, and we run specific activities to help our members in Hammersmith and Fulham. We are strong advocates and supporters of UNITED in Hammersmith and Fulham who are members of our London’s Giving initiative. UNITED in Hammersmith and Fulham (fundraising partner of Hammersmith United Charities) is part of a network of local place-based giving schemes. These schemes work collaboratively with other groups in the community to provide funding and support to local groups, and deliver activities to promote a strong sense of togetherness in the borough. Over the past few years this network of place-based giving schemes has gone from strength to strength. You can read more about the impact of these schemes across London in our latest report.

We also connect our members who fund in the borough more informally, through our wider programme of events and by providing the results of our annual member survey of who funds ‘what’ and ‘where’. We recently increased our capacity to support local funder forums, as part of our place-based work. While we’ve not yet established a group in Hammersmith and Fulham, we are always keen to hear from funders – so get in touch if you’d like to find out more!

We also work hard to help London’s wider civil society sector. Most notably, London Funders has convened major funder collaborations following the Grenfell Tower Fire and the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic through the London Community Response Fund. Both funding rounds got money out of the door incredibly quickly. For example, over the pandemic, we were delighted to work with 67 funders to get £57.5m out in grants through to over 3,600 amazing organisations.

By working together through these collaborations, funders could share intelligence, ensure that funding matched the immediate needs of the community and minimise due diligence and the reporting burden for charities.

We have written reports on our learning from both the funding in North Kensington and the London Community Response – and are using these to influence the sector to keep some of the positive changes that have occurred in funding over the past year.

These are not the only collaborations that we have worked on. Outside of an emergency, we have also convened smaller, more bespoke funder collaborations on civil society infrastructure and Deaf and Disabled People’s organisations.

Furthermore, London Funders provides lots of feedback to members on how they can be the best funders they can possibly be. We host member networks on wide reaching topics such as children and young people, culture, and health, and we put on loads of one-off meetings on specific policy issues too. We also send a weekly briefing email to our members, and publish reports on best funding practice.

We have curated a resource hub to influence our members’ thinking as we navigate the recovery from the pandemic. The resource hub is also really useful for other people working within the community sector – the research, articles and think-pieces give a clear sense of the wider world we’re all working in.

And in the past year and a half we’ve been disseminating our learning from the London Community Response as we’ve gone along, and have made sure that civil society organisations can see who received funding, and what our processes were.

As we come out of the other side of the pandemic, we’re revisiting our strategy and looking at what more we can do to support all of the capital’s diverse communities. In the short term, it means that we will be bringing back our monthly bulletin to the sector on funding opportunities and member news, and we will be working with IVAR on the Flexible Funders programme.

In the long term, we’d like to hear from you – do get in touch with me if you’d like to find out more about membership and our wider offer to the sector.

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Opening our doors to older people in need of a home

We're inviting older people on a low income who need an affordable new home to tour our almshouses.

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We’re looking for a new Grants and Communication Officer

We have a terrific opportunity for someone at the early stages of, or looking to begin, their career in grant making. Find out more about our Grants and Communication Officer role here.

Location Based at Sycamore House (W6 0AS) with frequent visits to other HUC locations and grant holders (all in Hammersmith)
Salary: £28k – £34.5k (pro rata) depending on experience
Contract: 22.5 hours per week (3 days), Permanent
Reporting to: Head of Grants and Community
Benefits: 28 days annual leave plus bank holidays (pro-rata), Up to 8% employer contribution to pension, Health cash plan on completion of probation

The opportunity

This is a terrific opportunity for someone at the early stages of, or looking to begin, their career in grant making.

Key activities involve supporting the management of the grants programme, contributing to raising the profile of the organisation and the impact of our grant holders, and
maintaining the grants database.

Hammersmith United Charities is part of our community, and it is important that the Grants and Community team are in touch with what is happening in Hammersmith and the rest of our small team. This involves frequent visits to grant holders, partners or networking meetings as well as hands on involvement with the life of the Almshouses.

About you

We are seeking an individual who is passionate about community, loves working with people, is flexible and thrives in a changing environment, genuinely enjoys administration and takes pride in excellent attention to detail.

We particularly welcome applications from people with a strong connection to Hammersmith and Fulham.

Purpose of the role

To provide support to all aspects of the Charity’s grants and community work including:

  • Grants administration
  • Database, website and social media management
  • Supporting prospective and current grant holders
  • Helping promote the work of the Charity and that of our grant holders

Download the detailed Job Description here

Application process

We are committed to our team reflecting the diversity of the communities we work with and welcome applications from people of all ages, sexual orientations, genders,
ethnicities, nationalities, religions and beliefs.

If you are excited by the role but aren’t sure if you have the right experience then we’d still love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact Paul, our Head of Grants and Community, for an informal chat by emailing paul.robson@hamunitedcharities.com to arrange a call.

To apply, please send us written answers to the following questions using a maximum of 600 words in total OR answer the questions in a video of up to 5 minutes.

  1. Tell us why you want this job and why you want to work for Hammersmith United Charities
  2. Tell us about your skills and experience and how they are a good fit for the role

Please email your written answers or video to officeadmin@hamunitedcharities.com no later than midday on Tuesday 21 November 2023, shortlisting will take place that week.

First round interviews will be held online on 29th or 30th November

Second round interviews will be in person at Sycamore House, W6 0AS on Wednesday 6th or Thursday7 th December. A presentation may be required at final interview.

These dates may be subject to change and applicants will be advised in advance should this happen.

To be appointed to this role you must be eligible to work in the UK, undertake an enhanced DBS check and provide satisfactory references. We will follow up on this later in the process.

By submitting your application, you are consenting to the processing and storage of your personal data in order that you can progress through our recruitment and management process. We will never sell your data however we are obliged by law to inform you that should we be required to we may share your data with external agencies. This may include but is not limited to CareCheck (a service for managing and processing Disclosure & Barring Service clearance applications) and our HR Advisors. We will also contact those individuals you name as your referees to confirm your suitability for the role you are applying for. Your data will only be used for your role and to comply with our statutory and legal obligations. If your application is unsuccessful, we will retain your information for 6 months; after this date it will be safely destroyed. If your application is successful, we will retain your information for the duration of your commitment and up to 6 years after you cease employment.

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In pictures: out and about

Our team took part in the Wormholt & White City Community Festival in September, which celebrated our vibrant community.

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5 minutes with…Our community gardeners

Meet our community gardeners, India and Lucy, who nurture the award-winning green spaces at our almshouses.

What do you both do and why do you enjoy it?

We are the community gardeners for Hammersmith United Charities’ two sheltered housing schemes (almshouses), John Betts House and Sycamore House.

The gardens are an unexpected highlight at both almshouses. Visitor, residents and staff alike often comment on the beautiful surprise of the gardens as they discover them for the first time.

We manage, maintain and improve the gardens while also providing activities and workshops for residents. A big part of our role is to encourage the residents to use the gardens, and advise and support them with their own plots and pots displays.

At both the almshouses, we love the diversity of personalities, activities and events – and how each day is different from the last. The kindness of the residents to the staff and each other is a daily joy.

How would you describe the gardens?

The gardens provide a space for all residents to enjoy in a variety of ways. Groups of residents meet in the gardens for a chat and a cup of tea, others sit alone and immerse themselves in the sounds and sights of nature, or simply read a paper or have a chat on the phone.  Some residents get their daily exercise by doing laps of the gardens, while many residents have their own small plots and pots, getting involved in the practical nature of gardening, planting, watering and weeding.

Currently residents are preparing for spring by planting bulbs in pots and looking forward to the next growing season following the dark and quiet winter months.

How do the residents help you with the gardens?

We work closely with the residents and many of them assist us in maintaining the gardens by watering and weeding, sweeping paths, leaf clearance and dead heading the beautiful roses.  We appreciate all the work the residents do and could not maintain these award-winning gardens without them.

What are some important gardening jobs you’ll be doing as we head into the autumn and winter?

Seasonal jobs include leaf clearance and ensuring all pathways are safe, bulb planting and compost turning. We manage all our green waste so that it returns to the gardens for the health of the plants and trees. We are currently preparing areas in both gardens to create wildflower meadows for next summer.

What is your favourite local green space to visit and why?

India has recently introduced Lucy to W6 Garden Centre on the edge of Ravenscourt Park.  It is a beautiful oasis of indoor and outdoor plants, garden supplies and has a gorgeous cafe. Many of our residents enjoy it too!

Find out more 


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Almshouse living may boost life expectancy by up to 2.5 years

New research from Bayes Business School has found that many almshouse residents receive a “longevity boost”.

On average, the lower a person’s socioeconomic status, the lower their life expectancy. But new research from Bayes Business School has found that many almshouse residents receive a “longevity boost” compared to their peers of the same socioeconomic status from the wider population.

The new research is based on analysis of many decades of records from 15 English almshouses. The life expectancy of almshouse residents was compared to people of similar gender and socio-economic background from the general population and was generally found to be longer. Giving an example, the authors estimate that a 73-year-old man entering the almshouse with the highest longevity boost in the study today could live 2.4 years longer than his peers from the same socioeconomic group.

Almshouses, which have traditionally provided affordable community housing for older people, are usually designed around a communal courtyard or gardens. Residents live independently and there are plenty of opportunities for social connection and support when needed.

Professor Ben Rickayzen, report co-author and professor of actuarial science at Bayes Business School, said: “More research is needed to ascertain exactly what factors cause almshouse residents to have a longer life. However, we postulate that it is the sense of the community that is the most powerful ingredient.

“For example, a common theme… is that [almshouses] encourage residents to undertake social activities and responsibilities on behalf of their fellow residents. This is likely to increase their sense of belonging and give them a greater sense of purpose in their everyday lives while mitigating against social isolation.”

Hammersmith United Charities Chief Executive, Victoria Hill, said: “It’s great to hear some evidence for what we’ve always felt to be true. Community means different things to different people, but usually it’s more than just the opportunity to socialise and be active. It’s often things like feeling safe and welcome among your neighbours, knowing there’s always someone nearby to help or being able to help others. It doesn’t surprise me that this feeling of belonging in your community may help you live longer and, we hope, happier lives.”

Find out more 
  • The full report: ‘Almshouse Longevity Study: Can Living in an Almshouse Lead to a Longer Life?’
  • Bayes Business School news release with a summary of key findings
  • Find out more about Hammersmith United Charities’s almshouses
  • Find out more about almshouses and their history

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