A council-funded group that encourages residents to look after older people in Fulham has been given the highest-ranking community award in the UK.
The Fulham Good Neighbour Service has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, dubbed the ‘MBE for volunteer groups’.
Established more than half a century ago in 1966, and financially supported by Hammersmith & Fulham Council, Fulham Good Neighbours is one of only a few inner-city groups of its kind in Britain.
“This is a richly deserved honour for one of the most active, compassionate groups in our borough,” said Cllr Sue Fennimore, Deputy Leader of H&F Council.
“Some volunteers have been helping for decades, but Fulham Good Neighbours also does a great job attracting new helpers each year – offering fresh skills and new vigour to such a worthwhile cause.”
Underlining the Queen’s own admiration for the service’s work, two of the charity’s volunteers – Robert Fryer, who chairs the board of trustees, and Avril Peyton, who runs the shared reading group and Silver Club at the White Horse pub – attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace last month, on behalf of the group.
“I’d like to congratulate all our volunteers and trustees, past and present, on winning this prestigious award,” said Mr Fryer.
Neighbours and friends
Fulham Good Neighbours works with over 60s in Fulham, with regular activities including an art group which studies individual artists to inspire everyone to have a go at painting and drawing, and the shared reading group – a free drop-in gathering where everyone can listen to poems and stories.
The monthly Silver Club at the White Horse, Parsons Green, includes a £5 subsidised lunch, plus tasty cakes provided by Megan’s by the Green of Parsons Green Lane. There is also a twice-monthly free afternoon tea, and a weekly gentle exercise class.
Volunteers also maintain gardens for elderly residents with limited mobility, offer practical help such as changing light bulbs or collecting prescriptions, and run befriending sessions to counter loneliness.
The charity is run by Director Chris Mikata-Pralat and is based at Rosaline Hall, 70 Rosaline Road, SW6. For more details, call 020 7385 8850 or visit the Fulham Good Neighbours website.
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