Hammersmith United Charities exists because of the generosity of Hammersmith’s more wealthy residents since 1618

History

In 1618, Dr Thomas Edwards gave £100 – which, according to the Bank of England, is worth about £10,000 in today’s money – to the poor of Fulham to buy them lands. Two years later, in 1620, Bishop John King, the then Bishop of London (after whom the main street in Hammersmith is named) donated £20 for a similar purpose. These two sums were added together and Dr. Edwards and Bishop King’s Fulham Charity was established. Much later, in 1834, the hamlet of Hammersmith became a separate parish to Fulham and, in 1863, the Charity Commissioners ordered that the income and assets from the combined Charities of Dr Edwards and Bishop King should be divided equally between a Fulham and Hammersmith branch; the latter being the “root” of Hammersmith United Charities.

 

Bishop John King

Other benefactors in the 17th Century, each of whom established his or her own individual Charity, included Edward Latymer (1624), William Payne (1626), Thomas Iles (1635), Thomas Collop (1645), Nathaniel Dauncer (1656) and Sir Nicholas Crispe (1665). In the 1700’s, Charities were established by Sarah Goudge (1759), John Powell (1773) and Henry Webb (1793) and, in the 1800’s, by the Waste Land Almshouses (1810), John Brown (1822), Peter Brown (1833), Mrs Harriet Clancy (1844), Dr John Betts (1859) and William Smith (1865). In the early 1900’s, bequests were made by Ellen Graves (1932) and Maria Eliza Morris (1948).

Sir Nicholas Crispe

Whilst the terms of each of our benefactors’ wills were different, the general thrust of each was either for the relief of poverty or the care and well-being of the elderly poor of Hammersmith and, in June 1923, the Charity Commissioners decreed that all the then individual Charities should amalgamate, under the title of Hammersmith United Charities. Subsequent governing trust instruments were issued in 1932, 1958, 1970, 1981 & 1982. In 1992, the Trustees applied to the Charity Commissioners for the addition to our objectives of the provision of an “Extra Care” branch and this request was incorporated in the Trust Deed of 14th July, 1992, the Charities’ current Governing Instrument.

 

Goodbye to Tim

We said Goodbye to our CEO Tim Hughes on the 8th November. We marked his transition into a life of unpaid work with a Tea Party.
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Hammersmith Reflections – Why we need art

Guest blog entry by Nora Laraki

 

Most of you know me as the Administrator of Hammersmith United Charities, the first point of contact when walking through our doors in Sycamore Gardens. But since 2017 I have also dedicated my time to do a PhD and dive with this research project deeper into the art world. (more…)

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Hammersmith Reflections – Solutions for an Ageing Society

Guest blog by Geoff Hands, business mentor

“Solutions for an Ageing Society” is part of Hammersmith United Charities’ programme of Social Enterprise Grants. Under the direction of Melanie Nock, HUC’s Head of Community and Partnership, it provides funds to launch new business ideas created by budding local entrepreneurs to enhance the quality of life of older residents in the Borough.

As well as offering grants, Hammersmith United Charities also provides a Business Mentor to help each entrepreneur work up a business plan and to support the successful launch of each new business. Coming from a background of law and business, I have had the good fortune to be that Mentor since the programme started in the summer of 2017.

The entrepreneurs are inspiring people, sharing a common characteristic – a fervent and infectious passion for their cause. All except one of them have been women; some young, most of them of a mature age, all of them coming from a variety of ethnicities reflecting the great diversity of cultures to be found in the Borough.

Their business ideas have been just as diverse, but they have mostly shared the common themes of combatting loneliness and enhancing community cohesion. One entrprenuer’s aspiration was to be an Energy Specialist for the Indoor Environment, bringing her career skills in energy efficiency and sustainability to enhancing the indoor environment of residential homes and day centres for older people. Another woman has been working closely with her daughter to establish an elderly persons’ care-at-home business embodying the cultural mores of her community particularly the love of older people and respect for their wisdom and experience.

Cooking and creative arts are well known antidotes to loneliness and insecurity. One very talented young grantee’s solution for an ageing society was “to lift people out of loneliness using food to create a community that meets regularly to talk about health, diet and cooking”. It was her belief “that inspiring people to cook for friends and family is a way to regain self-confidence and that giving the lunch participants new recipes and ideas to try at home will hopefully be an incentive for them to host more social gatherings on their own”.

A Solutions for an Ageing Society grant has been supporting another extremely gifted award winner in successfully testing her business idea in the local community – in sheltered housing, churches and community halls. Her scheme is to run “hands-on professional fun and creative Art &Crafts workshops with a focus on Textile Art and Felt Making for the elderly, in a safe and supporting environment” expressly with a view to “to fighting isolation, improving health and well- being and making friends by stimulating the senses and challenging minds to learn new hands-on skills”. She and I are currently working together on ways to take her idea to a new level and to grow it into a fully-fledged sustainable social enterprise.

These grants also extend to seed-corn funding an award winner intent on breaking down the taboos that prevent men from certain cultures talking about – and doing something about – the incidence of prostate cancer.

A Social Enterprise Grant from the charity is supporting a new organisation whose mission is the relief of domestic violence in the Borough particularly against immigrant women not able to speak English in isolation imposed by their violent partners. It teaches these victims that domestic violence is not an accepted norm in society, finds them a sanctuary and embraces them in a community of women with shared experiences but now assertive and independent in their own chosen milieu.

And a final “hurrah” for the one man in the scheme – a Life Coach seeking to establish a sustainable business providing a programme of Personal Development Workshops for elderly people. He hopes to introduce a pioneering ingredient – “cross generational mentoring” to integrate different generations working together and supporting each other in motivational life skills.

It is a privilege to work with these compassionate and dedicated people. One of the entrepreneurs wrote recently: “I must tell you that the time I spent with you and Melanie really did restore my self-confidence which had been knocked after almost a year of unemployment. I will be forever grateful for the confidence and belief HUC gave to me during that dark time.” An unexpected accolade for Hammersmith United Charities from an unexpected, unintended but nonetheless very welcome beneficiary.

Hammersmith United Charities has funded this programme in partnership with Unltd and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation.

Geoffrey Hand
October 2018

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January Grants deadline

Apply for a grant by 7th January!

The next deadline to send your grant application will be the 7th January.

Find our application form and entry requirements here.

Contact Melanie Nock if you would like to talk to us about your idea or your application.

We look forward to receiving your application!

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