It’s become a tradition at Hammersmith United Charities that retiring trustees are invited to share their reflections on their time at the charity at their final board meeting. (more…)
UNITED in Hammersmith & Fulham’s Warmer Together campaign is now live. It calls for local older people who can afford to do so, to donate all or some of their Winter Fuel Allowance to help their less well-off older neighbours this winter.
Winter can be an especially difficult time of year for older people in our borough; of the 19,000 residents aged over 65, over half have a long-term health problem or disability. 25% live in poverty. 43% live alone.
Last year, 278 isolated older people in need were supported, through grants to local charities including Fulham Good Neighbours, the Iraqi Association, Lunch Club for the Blind, and the Somali Development Network.
“Most of the services catering to our community focus on young people, and the elderly are usually forgotten. It’s a great change.” – Resident with no family (83) who attended a social club launch.
Can you give a gift?
Are you someone who received a Winter Fuel Allowance that you don’t feel you need? A local business looking for a Christmas incentive to give locally? Or a younger person who also wants to take part in giving?
Visit unitedhf.org/warmertogether for details on how to give.
“This campaign is a wonderful way to bring people together to support our neighbours. One hundred percent of funds raised will go to local community projects that help older residents.” – Cllr Sue Fennimore, Deputy Leader of H&F Council.
Many thanks to LBHF Council for their partnership in this initiative.
We provide quality sheltered accommodation in safe and secure settings, surrounded by prize winning tranquil communal gardens that allow residents to remain independent for as long as possible, within a friendly and supportive community.
John Betts House, Rylett Road: there are 39 Flats.
Sycamore House, Sycamore Gardens: there are 52 flats of which 2 are 2 bed flats.
To be eligible for sheltered housing, you will need to:
- be 60 years old or over, and in need of sheltered accommodation
- have lived in the Area of Benefit (northern wards of Hammersmith) for 5 years either immediately prior to the application or during the course of your adult life (proof of residency is required)
- be on a low income: a single person with assets of less than £25,000 or a couple with assets less than £45,000. If you have assets that could be worth more than £25,000, please contact us as you may still be eligible
Please contact 020 8741 4326 if you, or someone you know, fit the criteria.
Have a look at some of our flats below – for more pictures, please click here.
Encouraging creativity and participation in the arts is an important part of our work at Hammersmith United Charities. Cultural events help to improve wellbeing, remove barriers to social inclusion and contribute to safer and stronger communities.
In June 2019, we held “Artists in Residence”, an exhibition of work by local artists, including residents of our sheltered housing at John Betts House and Sycamore House. The exhibition was part of HF ArtsFest, an annual platform to celebrate the exceptional artists living in the borough, and we were proud to showcase the breadth of talent within the residents of our Almshouses and enable members of our local community to display their work.
The exhibition was kindly opened by Andy Slaughter MP at a fun evening at Pekoe Mellow Tea House jam packed with our friends and neighbours.
We are very grateful to the artists who allowed us to exhibit their work: Bill Forbes Hamilton, Bryan Payne and Pat Carey-Willis from John Betts House; Betty Dwyer and Joan Hurrell from Sycamore House; Carey Whitley, Dickon Reed and Jamik Wilkins from the Grove Neighbourhood Folk Art Group and local artist Layne Wyatt Thank you also to Zena Zialor for photographing the opening night, our colleague Nora Laraki for curating the artworks and everyone who attended the exhibition.
Many of the artists have enjoyed attending the Grove Neighbourhood Fold Art Group run by Rachel Leach, a project supported by Hammersmith United Charities. Everybody is welcome regardless of their experience so if you think you could be Hammersmith’s next Picasso please take a look!
For more photos, click here.
I am an independent award winning photojournalist, local resident, founder of the Photojournalism Hub. My passion and drive is to expose social justice issues through photo stories for these to be of leverage and/or of a conduit for action and change. Some of the projects I have been working on, have been exposing the plight of miners in illegal coal mines in China, the hidden homelessness in the UK with a particular focus on women and their children, police violence against refugees and asylum seekers in Europe. Through my career, I developed many collaborations with NGO’s and charities, including international campaigns with Amnesty International and Protection Approaches, Shelter in the UK. These have shaped the Photojournalism Hub’ aims. The value of connecting photojournalism to effective change and to promote photojournalism work is very important to me. Photojournalism exposes issues, raises awareness and importantly can bring about changes and recommendations in legislations, public opinion and indeed calls for action. The Photojournalism Hub is born out of these aspirations: it presents photo stories needed to be told and it has a programme that focuses on working together with communities and charities to find solutions, advocacy and exposure. Since its launch last November, the Photojournalism Hub has received an amazing support, interest and engagement from the wide public and local communities in our Talk Events, Photojournalism Nights, Open Forums and Workshops and from local organisations such as Imperial College, Hammersmith United Charities, White City Place, Petit Miracles, Stanhope, Elephant West, HFArts Fest, Re:Centre, Lido Foundation and London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.
THE OPEN FORUMS – WORKING TOGETHER FOR SOLUTION MAKING
The Open Forums are open conversations with different communities. The idea is born from wanting to change the way we engage on social justice issues. Often, we assume that ‘we’ know what is happening to a community, instead of getting to know what is really happening. Conversations are just the first steps; a valuable way to share knowledge and in future deliver what is really needed. From the Open Forums, Photojournalism Hub creates a shareable resource content and further develops a photography based programme that addresses the issues being raised. Sometimes ideas, however beautiful, can just remain as such unless tried and tested. That the Open Forums are being well received is very important to me and I am grateful to Hammersmith United Charities for supporting them and trusting in their value in our communities.
PHOTOJOURNALISM NIGHTS, TALK EVENTS AND EXHIBITIONS
I am sharing below some keystone moments in photographs. The opening was marked by a meaningful talk by Andy Slaughter on the power of photojournalism. Since the launch, the Photojournalism Hub has presented talks on picturing community engagement with participatory photography and collaborative practices, on photojournalism today, and on domestic violence and masculinities. We have organised and presented the first Photojournalism Nights at the Elephant west gallery and we have been invited to be a partner of this year’s HF-Arts festival in which we presented a curated photography exhibition Marginal at Re:centre gallery. We deliver photography workshops at low costs and we are about to begin free photography workshops for Somali young people in collaboration with Lido Foundation and Petit Miracles.
It has been a milestone to present some of today’s courageous, committed photojournalism work in White City. Photojournalism deserves ample space as a form that engages, exposes and initiates actions for change. If you wish to get to know more about the Photojournalism Hub work, I would like to encourage you to sign up to our newsletter on www.photojournalismhub.org or follow us on social media: @PJ_Hub; #photojournalism_hub; Fb: Photojournalismhub
We are delighted to announce our new grantees for May 2019. We give grants to local organisations supporting local people and this year we have increased the total value of grants available to £400,000 to mark 400 years of supporting the people of Hammersmith. The next deadline for grant applications is 2 October 2019. If you’ve got a great idea then we’d love to hear from you at email@example.com
Our newsletter jointly produced by residents and staff
The Hammer #2 is here – Hammersmith United Charities’ newsletter, looking at all aspects of the charity and jointly produced by residents and staff. In this edition we have included arts, gardens, books and…. click here to find out more!
If you have any feedback or want to suggest something to add to the next newsletter, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hammersmith Reflections – Young achievers recognised at Hammersmith and Fulham Youth Achievement Awards
Hammersmith and Fulham first ever Youth Achievement awards was organised by Hammersmith and Fulham Young (more…)
We won Silver and Bronze!
We’re delighted to announce that Sycamore House and John Betts House have won respectively a Silver and Bronze – Regional Awards category – in the EAC National Housing for Older People Awards 2019!
Thank you all for voting!
Next year we’ll aim for the gold!
All the results for London here: https://eacawards.org.uk/results-2018/london
our brand new newsletter!
As part of our 400th celebrations last summer, we asked everyone who participated in the “big party” to write a wish for the charity’s future. A very clear message which came out of those wishes was for the members of the charity – residents, staff and trustees – to work more holistically together.
This newsletter – looking at all aspects of the charity and jointly produced by residents and staff – is our first initiative to put that aspiration into practice.
You can read it here – let us know what you think!
In November I was proud to be appointed as the new CEO of Hammersmith United Charities. (more…)
We are delighted to announce that one of our Trustees and member of our Grants Committee, Adam Matan, has been awarded an OBE in the New Year’s honours list for services to the Somali community.
Adam is Managing Director of the Anti Tribalism Movement a non profit organisation tackling tribalism and inequalities within communities. The organisation is working towards a cohesive and dynamic society where every person’s rights are protected regardless of tribe, clan, gender or political belief. He is also Chair of Hammersmith and Fulham’s new resident-led Policing and Crime Commission which will examine the root causes of crime and anti-social behaviour in the neighbourhood.
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.
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!
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…)
This month we continued our celebrations of the charity’s 400 (more…)
Every one of us has the capability to contribute to society, and to those less well off (financially, socially, physically etc), than ourselves. Having been involved in the running of businesses for a little while I was keen to donate my skills and knowledge. I had been involved with one local Hammersmith charity and having “done my time”, was keen to find another opportunity within the locality. The people and environment in which I live are important to me. Hammersmith has numerous problems and issues – and to contribute to solve a just very few of them gives me a lot of personal satisfaction.
Hammersmith United Charities as we all know has been around for a long time (400 years to be precise). But what attracted me was the vision for the future. HUC has listened to the people of the Borough, through its “Big Conversation” and from that set out a real plan. This is a charity that has a long term vision for the future, is run and organised by some very professional people – and one that I wanted to be involved in.
Housing is a massive problem in our Borough. Hammersmith United Charities already provides really lovely sheltered accommodation to over 90 residents – all of whom would be at the mercy of private landlords without our apartments. But to be involved with a project to increase our stock and offer long term housing solutions to even more in the borough is an exciting prospect. Giving something back, no matter how small the contribution, that will last for many decades is a satisfying thought.
But the charity isn’t just about providing sheltered housing. Over the four centuries of its existence the financial resources of the Charity have grown. This means that in 2018 we will be donating over £400,000 of our income to other local charities and support groups. Making real contributions to real people in borough and helping to improve their lives – whether it be through nutritious meals for homeless people; music for toddlers with language delay; counselling for people who have experienced domestic abuse; or opportunities for entrepreneurs to support older people Hammersmith United Charities makes a real contribution to people’s lives in the Borough – something that I am very proud of. And with the setting up of the combined UNITED charity something we want to do even more with the support of the local community.
Hammersmith United Charities is an exciting organisation with real plans, to make an even bigger contribution, to our local community. Something that excites me – and something I am proud to be part of.
Bolder not Older is a dance company for West Londoners aged 55+ founded by DanceWest. The company meets weekly and works towards high-profile performances. Under the direction of
Sonia Illescas, the company celebrates the artistic integrity of older dancers and challenges preconceptions of what it means to be older.
93-year-old Robert Cohan will work with the company over an intensive weekender from 9-10 June contributing towards a piece that the group have been preparing for the opening of Hammersmith United Charities 400th celebrations on Friday 6th July at St Paul’s Church Hammersmith.
Robert Cohan’s collaboration with DanceWest will continue in October when he will inaugurate the first of DanceWest’s Inspired By series – a weekend of talks, interviews, conversations and performances
by Robert and those who have been inspired by him.
Dates: 6-7 October 2018.
Robert Cohan’s influence on the development of modern dance in Britain has been considerable. Having pioneered the teaching of contemporary dance technique in Britain, he was instrumental in the development of a vast following, not only for the repertory of LCDT in the ‘70s and ‘80s but through his pioneering residencies throughout the country, which laid the groundwork for the many other British companies that have grown up in the last 20 years.
You can download and read Robert Cohan biography on the right.
We were up against the Royal wedding, the FA cup final (featuring Chelsea), battery powered technology and Ikea flat pack garden furniture…it didn’t feel promising! But the sun shone, we viewed “the dress” on our mobile phones and we were enchanted by the hospitality of the organisers of Polish Heritage day in Ravenscourt Park.
This Enigma lunch took place in a tent on a drop in basis. The revelation was how to make people laugh – genuinely surprised, proper laughs – directly ask them to sit at a (slightly wobbly, bilious orange) table, eat bread and cheese and talk to someone they don’t know. For those who dared, this was everything we wanted from an Enigma event; people sharing their stories, their languages and their experiences.
We focused the lunch around the republication of “Passport to Exile”, memories of Polish migrants in the 1980s. And around an artist in residence who shared his art with us during the day. Technology failure denied us a Polish musician but instead we enjoyed – for the first time in this series of events – the conversation and enthusiasm of some delightful children.
Serenaded by footstompingly enjoyable traditional Irish musicians, we enjoyed the hospitality of the new Irish Cultural Centre for our third Enigma lunch.
The hall was full for the occasion with guests drawn from the Cultural Centre, our residents, friends of the charity and neighbours who found out about the event from Next Door.
As hoped, the conversation flowed, sparked to some extent by responses to our republication of the reminiscences of Irish migrants first published in the 1980s. Guests were delighted to read the stories; some remembered the original project and, for others, the stories newly discovered, very much tuned in to their own memories.
We ended the event with a riveting and entertaining story by a professional story teller who had the whole hall enthralled and entertained with her tale of her life as the daughter of a small town shopkeeper – and more seriously with her thoughts about “community” – very much the theme of our Enigma lunches.
Hammersmith United Charities is thrilled to announce the charity has won two awards at the London Gardens Society Competition for each of its two sheltered housing schemes for older people. Sycamore House won third place for the large community gardens at the awards ceremony. (more…)
I was sitting in the sunshine on a bench in Ravenscourt Park having a coffee when I noticed people waving from another bench on the far side of the Tea House. It was Diane, who lives locally near Hammersmith Grove, and a couple of other people.
Diane comes over. We haven’t seen each other for a while. She’s pleased to see me and shrieks in delight. I am delighted to bump in to her too. Diane smiles. You should see that smile; (more…)
The next grants deadline will be the 1st October!
The next deadline to send your grant application will be the 1st October.
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!
This time a guest blog by Sian Alexander (Lyric Hammersmith)
Welcome back to our blog “Hammersmith Reflections” where our Trustees share with us their thoughts about Hammersmith United Charities and our local area. This time we have a special guest writing for us: Sian Alexander, Chief Executive of the Lyric Hammersmith. Keep on reading to find out more about the Lyric (more…)
Last Saturday we had our second Enigma Event in partnership with “Women Make Change” who put together a great event for International Women’s Day. Women Make Change is a charity that promotes and protects the health and safety of women and girls affected by domestic violence.
Melanie Nock took the chance to introduce Aunt Esther’s Story. Esther Bruce’s autobiography written by Stephen Bourne tells the story of a black London Seamstress from 1912–1994 and provides a first-hand account of the life of a black Londoner in the pre-Empire Windrush years. When Esther Bruce was born in Fulham in 1912 only small black communities exited in Britain.
Another big announcement was the launch of the “Agents for Change” Women’s Leadership Programme that we founded in partnership with the H&F Council, the Imperial College and the Lyric Hammersmith.
Applycations are open now, find more information here: http://www.agentsforchange.wixsite.com/agentsforchange
Where: White City Community Centre
When: Saturday, 10.03.2018 starting at 3.30 (more…)
A blog written by our Trustees - Julian Hillman
February can be a sad month, fortitude tested by continuing winter, with summer still a long way off. Sad for me personally, because I have to stand down as a trustee of Hammersmith Unite Charities (HUC) after 12+ years and also because Oxfam (more…)
12th - 16th Feb
It’s Friyay! Before we all sign off to enjoy the weekend, have a look at what happened at HUC this week 🙂
On Monday, Lise from Alien Seas hosted a free lunch for elderly people supported by HUC
It was so lovely to host my second charity lunch for the elderly this afternoon👵🏻👵🏻👵🏻 I’ve started this initiative to…
Tuesday was Pancake Day and staff and residents made sure to celebrate it properly
#pancakeday2018 at #SycamoreHouse – what is your favorite #Pancake topping? We like sugar, lemon and peaches!#TuesdayThoughts #hammersmith #london #charitytuesday #shelteredhousing #PancakeDay pic.twitter.com/SZWmr5Y4ex
— Hammersmith United C (@HamUnited) February 13, 2018
But that wasn’t the only thing to celebrate because our sweet Tilly turned 8 years old on the same day – look how cute she is!!
One more thing to celebrate on #PancakeDay is Tilly's 8th Birthday – Happy Birthday, Tilly – you haven't aged a day!#Hammersmith #London #charitytuesday #doglovers #dogsoftwitter pic.twitter.com/kxhdT6m2jb
— Hammersmith United C (@HamUnited) February 13, 2018
Yesterday we had a great Staff Meeting (managing to get everyone in the same room on the same day is not easy!) where we also introduced our new intern Sarah that will be helping us during the next few months.
Last, but not least, UNITED in Hammersmith and Fulham just joined the social media fun! Go show them some love and follow them on Twitter! 😀
Hello from UNITED in Hammersmith and Fulham. We are excited to enter the social media world and introduce you to UNITED, a new local giving initiative in Hammersmith and Fulham. Watch this space! @TWBHughes @HamUnited @FulhamCharity @fulhamsociety @HammersmithSoc @HammersmithBID
— UNITED in Hammersmith and Fulham (@UNITEDinHF) February 15, 2018
Now we want to know all about YOUR week! Follow us on Facebook and let us know what you were up to this week 🙂
A Poem by Kitty
Every Monday, from January to March 2018, our residents at John Betts House and Sycamore House are enjoying a Relaxation and Mindfulness course organised by Open Age.
This course of simple relaxation techniques helps slowing heart rate, improving sleep quality, digestion, mood and concentration as well as reducing stress and much more… like, for example, increasing creativity! This definitely happened to Kitty, one of our residents at Sycamore House, who wrote this lovely poem inspired by one the sessions. We just had to share it with all of you!
If you are interested in more activities organised by Open Age, you can have a look at the list (link on the right) or visit their website.
“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 (more…)
We at Hammersmith United Charities wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Our office reopens on the 2nd of January – enjoy the holidays!
This is a portrait of Bishop John King, painted this year by Matthew Cook for the Charity. Bishop John King (after whom King Street is named) made one of the two original gifts which formed the basis of the charity, one branch of which eventually became known as Hammersmith United Charities.
The Bishop – a committed Calvinist – had a wide ranging career which took him from preacher to the City of York to Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford before finally becoming Bishop of London in 1611. He made his gift of £20 to buy land to benefit the poor of Fulham in 1620.
Dr Thomas Edwards made his gift of £100 to buy land in 1618 – and it is the 400th anniversary of that gift and its remarkable and enduring legacy which we will be celebrating next year.
The October Grants committee is over and we have a list of new exciting projects that we support!
Find in the Resources a list of who we support, what the money will be spend on and how much we put in.
The next grants deadline will be in January 2017, we will announce the deadline in the next days.
The September Newsletter is here!
This September our Newsletter brings the news of what we have been up to this summer and introduces our new Logo!
We aim to bring you the Newsletter every couple of months and we would welcome your feedback.
We had an exciting summer and a grants deadline coming up.
Find out more at: Newsletter September 2017
If you would like to subscribe to our Newsletter submit your email address under contact us.
The waiting list for both of our Schemes - John Betts House and Sycamore House is open! If you are interested in joining one of our schemes, find out more here....
Both houses have a communal lounge, laundry, internet access and a guest flat. Both are supported by full time scheme managers. Residents are welcome to take part in as much or as little of the regular social events programme as they choose; a regular newsletter keeps them informed of social opportunities in house and in the wid-er local community. Prospective residents should be:
- Over 60
- Have lived in the local area for at least five years or, if not currently resident in Hammersmith be able to show that they have lived in the area for 10 years or more over the course of their life
- Be on a low income
What’s New from Hammersmith United Charities
This April edition of The Hammer, brings news of what we have been up to across the charity over the last few months and a report on our International Womens Day event. We aim to bring you the new Hammer every couple of months – and we would welcome your feedback.
If you are interested in receiving our Newsletters, click on the top left in the link the subscription button.