After 30 years of helping the homeless, The Upper Room has unveiled a grand refurbishment as it seeks to provide positive ways forward for those in need both in Shepherds Bush and across London.
With financial support from Hammersmith & Fulham Council and donations from the community, the W12 charity has transformed its home at St Saviour’s church in Wendell Park into a state-of-the-art Hub for the Homeless.
After a year of building works, the results were unveiled on Thursday 17 October at a launch event attended by the Mayor of Hammersmith & Fulham, Cllr Daryl Brown.
Also in attendance were: Rev Chris Lee of St Saviours; members of the family of the late Larry Duttson, whose bequest helped fund the project; and people from the countless business and community organisations which helped make it a reality.
A new floor has been built into the church that includes offices and a kitchen, as well as space for those in need to acquire skills like self-esteem classes or health advice.
“Our new home doesn’t look like a homeless charity,” said chief executive Nicky Flynn, on The Upper Room’s return to a refreshed St Saviour’s. “This place has a heart. And the works done here will help us make a difference to people’s lives for generations to come.”
Breaking the cycle
The Upper Room’s focus lies in not just offering help to the homeless, but in improving their chances in life to help break a cycle of dependency.
For example, its staff and volunteers serve 23,000 meals a year to those in need, while also aiming to coach 30 ex-offenders to pass their driving test over the same period, helping improve their ability to find work.
This means The Upper Room is addressing people’s urgent needs, while also tackling the source of a problem which drives people into poverty.
Participants in the driving course give directly back to the local community, by each committing to complete 80 hours voluntary work in return for the valuable skills they’ve gained.
“Our work to share the prosperity of this borough with everyone relies upon the vital efforts of charities like The Upper Room,” said Cllr Sue Fennimore, Deputy Leader of H&F Council.
“Nicky and her team of staff and volunteers run the only project of its kind in London. We’re delighted to have helped fund their beautiful new home both directly, and by helping them source donations from the community.
“The opening of a refreshed and improved base at St Saviour’s will help hugely in our shared aim of tackling poverty and ending rough sleeping in the borough.”
As well as directly paying into the project fund, H&F Council supported The Upper Room with a Spacehive crowdfunding push which attracted donations from individuals and businesses from across the community.
Want to read more news stories like this? Subscribe to our weekly e-news bulletin.
By sending us a comment, you are agreeing to our publishing policy.