Food parcels for older people, legal support for those losing jobs or homes, computers for children in poverty, and activities for the learning disabled; these are just a few examples of how new local charity UNITED in Hammersmith in Fulham is using local gifts of money, time and resources to help local people.
The River House Trust, which supports older people living with HIV in the borough, received a grant from UNITED to quickly remodel its service and supply food parcels to 50 of their more vulnerable members each week.
“This means our members know people really care about them, outside of our charity, too”, said Director Chris Woolls. “Please don’t think this is over when rules start to be relaxed and some people get a semblance of their old lives back; this isn’t going to happen for older people with HIV. Please keep supporting initiatives like UNITED in Hammersmith & Fulham. We need you!”
Another charity to receive support is Hestia, which helps vulnerable children and adults recover from crisis, including people fleeing domestic abuse, recovering from modern slavery, or experiencing mental health problems. The charity supports 1,000 people in the borough. Their grant from UNITED enabled them to buy tablet PCs; one for a mother and son at a refuge, and one each for the charity’s three mental health facilities, for use by those struggling desperately with the changes in routine and other pressures that isolation brings.
“We are very appreciative of the support of local people and businesses via UNITED in Hammersmith & Fulham”, said Paula Murphy, Director of Performance & Development. “Through enabling digital inclusion, the grant has helped us combat the isolating effects. It is really comforting to know the community is coming together to support each other at this challenging time.”
A UNITED spokesperson said: “What’s clear on the ground is that this crisis is far from over, and we want to continue to support local groups for as long as possible, especially as longerlasting effects of the pandemic remain.” You can find out more about UNITED in Hammersmith & Fulham, including how to get involved, at unitedhf.org.
Photographs © Tomas Evans