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 would like to find people who are:
– Able to apply their experience of life, their skills and their local connections to the work of the charity
– Committed to making a difference to their local area
– Good listeners
– Team players
– Curious and inquisitive
– Willing to ask questions and to express a view
– Able to offer a time commitment of 8 evening meetings a year
Does this sound like you? If it does, we would love to hear from you!
Please contact Jocelyn to talk about what being a trustee involves
and how you might help us and your local community
07976 395688 or email@example.com
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.