In 1618, Dr Thomas Edwards made a gift of £20 for the immediate benefit of the poor of Fulham and left £100 to buy land for their longer term benefit. In 2018, we celebrate the 400th anniversary of that gift – from which was to come so much more.

400th Anniversary

In 2018, we celebrate the 400th anniversary of that gift – from which was to come so much more. Two years later – in1620 – Bishop King left another £20 for the poor of Fulham to be bestowed upon them in “bread, beef and money”. The parish overseers of the poor asked Bishop King’s widow if they could add this bequest to the earlier one and established the principle of bringing together generous gifts to the parish which has enabled trustees over four centuries to make more effective use of these gifts, continuing to relieve need in our local area. We explain some of that tradition and the story of how Dr Edwards and Bishop Kings’ Fulham charity subsequently gave rise to Hammersmith United Charities too in the history section of this website.

In this 400th year, Hammersmith United Charities are looking to achieve these things;

  • Firstly, we want to celebrate the diversity of our Area of Benefit and its rich cultural heritage which makes it so distinctive and so vibrant. To do that, we are holding a series of “enigma lunches”. Each one will shine a spotlight on one of the specific communities within our Area. At these lunches we will relaunch a publication first made in the 1980s recounting the memories of migrants to Hammersmith from that area. We will also bring that community together with others to see what spontaneous conversation we might achieve; and we will use the arts to get the conversation going.
  • Our second objective is to celebrate talent and enthusiasm wherever it might lie. Under the banner of the Festival of Joy, we will focus this year as much on the positives in the Area of benefit as on the issues and needs. We are supporting the borough’s first disability arts festival in partnership with Hammersmith and Fulham Arts fest and Turtlekey arts and the Lyric as well as many other local organisations including sponsors Stanhope.
  • We are also commissioning a new piece of dance from DanceWest to be performed by an older peoples’ dance company which will be shared at our main celebratory event on 6 July. We will focus on the joy of our gardens with a special “gardeners’ question time” event and we will bring joy to all local groups with an additional £50k in the grants budget.

And after 400 years, there has to be a big new idea. Watch this space for news of our new local giving scheme – 21st century philanthropy in the spirit of Dr Edwards and Bishop King and intended to make a deep and long an impact as their far sighted gifts did.

RESOURCES
events timeline

Hammersmith Reflections – Four hundred years of support, and counting!

This month we continued our celebrations of the charity’s 400 (more…)

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We are hiring – Part time Finance Assistant needed!

We are recruiting a new part-time finance assistant!

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Hammersmith Reflections – Thoughts from a New Trustee…

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.

Shepherds Bush Market

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.

Two Residents at Sycamore House

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.

W12 Festival 2016

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.


David Bailey
Trustee
June 2018

 

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Robert Cohan CBE commissioned to work with the Bolder not Older Company

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.

Yolande Yorke-Edgell, artistic director of Yorke Dance Project and founder of Cohan Collective will be supporting Robert on the weekender.

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.

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