Young child and his helper boxing in a garden

H&F community projects raise funds for COVID-19 support

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The Kids Network are stepping in to help young people in H&F stay connected

Across H&F, people have been coming together to show their support for their neighbours during the COVID-19 emergency.

From providing free meals to producing community honey, and from delivering emergency food and toiletries to setting up an online mentoring scheme for children and young people, local groups are fundraising for creative and inspiring ideas on the H&F Hive.

The H&F Hive was set up by Hammersmith & Fulham Council to enable local organisations to raise funds for great community projects. So far, 39 projects have successfully raised the funds they needed with contributions from residents, the council, local businesses and other larger funders. During the COVID-19 emergency, the H&F Hive has helped deliver support where it’s needed.

Three Mutual Aid Group admins in a back office space
Hammersmith Mutual Aid Group admins in the back offices at the H&F Foodbank in Olympia

“The local response to this crisis has really demonstrated what an incredible community we have in H&F”, said Cllr Sue Fennimore, Deputy Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham council. “I have been bowled over by people’s generosity and willingness to help each other. Every act of kindness and every donation, large or small, has made a real difference to someone’s life.”

Supplying the essentials

Jacolyn Daly represents the Hammersmith & Fulham Mutual Aid Groups, groups of local residents that have sprung up across the borough, volunteering to help neighbours in need.

“As soon as we went into lockdown, it was clear that many people in our community would need help”, said Jacolyn. “It was amazing to see so many people come forward to volunteer, but we quickly realised we also needed to raise money to provide free meals and shopping services for those who are isolating and need immediate help. The H&F Hive enabled us to raise over £5,000 from the community and we’re incredibly grateful for every contribution!”

Middle-aged man smiling towards the camera
A volunteer from the Smile Brigade who raised over £11,000. PICTURE: MEL BROWN STUDIOS

Also celebrating fundraising successes are the Smile Brigade and the Lido Foundation who both teamed up with local businesses to provide meals for those who might otherwise be going without. The Smile Brigade raised over £11,000 to cook food donated by local businesses and distribute up to 37,000 meals over a 12-week period. The Lido Foundation secured over £10,000 on the H&F Hive to provide Iftar meals (breaking of the fast) at home for vulnerable residents throughout Ramadan. The meals were cooked at a local restaurant and delivered by volunteers.

Supporting young people

It’s not just essential supplies that are being provided. Many people are currently struggling with being isolated from friends, family, school or work. The Kids Network are stepping in to help young people in H&F stay connected.

Sarah Woodcock, CEO and Founder of the Kids Network, said “Now, more than ever, it’s vital that children and young people are supported. Thanks to the generous pledges we received on the H&F Hive, we will be training 30 inspirational mentors to work with some of the most vulnerable local kids, as well as providing them with games, activities and monthly challenges to keep them active and support their mental health.”

Do you have an idea for a community project?

If you are inspired by these stories, and have your own idea for a project that will help to support local residents through the pandemic, or help to build our community as we start looking to the future, why not take the first step to make it happen?

Visit the H&F Hive for more information, or go ahead and start creating your project page.

Monique Newton inside the Smile Brigade's base preparing food deliveries
Monique Newton, founder of the Smile Brigade

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