It’s often said that nobody knows their neighbour anymore. But this isn’t the case in Fulham where a charity is celebrating 50 years of keeping community spirit alive.
Fulham Good Neighbours, based in Rosaline Hall in Rosaline Road, provides companionship and practical help for elderly and vulnerable residents.
About 50 volunteers help roughly 500 residents across Fulham and – after they recently expanded – as far north as Hammersmith Broadway.
The charity has seen a lot of changes since it was first founded in 1966 to take over from the old Fulham District Nursing Association, but most of its core work has remained the same.
“We’re still doing a lot of the things we did when we first started, just on a bigger scale,” said Vice Chair Sue O’Neill who has helped run the charity since the late 1970s.
“I think it makes a tremendous difference in Fulham. We’ve always had quite a lot of single people living on their own and just little things, like putting up a curtain rail for them, can make a huge difference.
“What really helps is that we’ve always been so well funded by the council.”
Hammersmith & Fulham Council is currently supporting the charity with a £67,500 funding package for 18 months up until the end of May, helping them expand their client base.
Fulham Good Neighbours helps in three main ways: running errands such as picking up medication; carrying out tasks such as gardening and a handyman service; as well as running social clubs and a befriending service to tackle loneliness.
Volunteer administrator Ruth George began 24 years ago.
She said some of the main changes she has seen over the years are in the type of tasks volunteers are asked to carry out.
“We get a lot of requests for help with retuning digital televisions, help with setting up email accounts and help with changing digital clocks when the clocks go forward.”
Fulham Good Neighbours is preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary this autumn with some special events.
In the meantime, they are keen to hear from residents who have photos, stories and any other memories.
Call 020 7385 8850, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to share your memories, volunteer or refer someone who could benefit from the charity’s support.