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Hammersmith debt advice charity and nine other groups get cash boost

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Image captionImage 1: Crosslight manager Stephan Wiedmer (pictured centre wearing ID lanyard)

Local groups to benefit from the latest wave of H&F Winter Covid Fund grants include a debt advice and support service for borough residents.

Crosslight, which is supported by St Paul’s church, Hammersmith, was set up nearly a decade ago to give help and information for those with debt problems.

A £200 grant from UNITED in Hammersmith & Fulham and backed by H&F Council, means that the charity will be able to send stamped addressed envelopes to clients who haven’t the facilities to share documents electronically.

“We switched from face-to-face appointments to phone calls at the start of the pandemic,” said Crosslight manager Stephan Wiedmer. “This has worked well, but it can be a big problem for clients to share paperwork.”

He said that the grant from UNITED would make a real difference at a time when many more people in Hammersmith & Fulham are at risk of losing their jobs.

“Many people are suffering from lower incomes, and some of those currently on furlough are at risk of losing their jobs,” he said. “Landlords will be able to evict tenants again, and creditors will generally stop being so sympathetic. A lot of people are building up hidden debt by not being able to pay their rent and essential bills in full.”

He said that Crosslight was able to help residents negotiate repayment plans and prioritise what they spend their money on.” If you need help, call Crosslight on 020 7052 0318 or email info@crosslightadvice.org

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Image caption: Image 2: Child playing a mandolin on a Music House for Children activity programme for parents with young children

H&F Winter Covid Fund

Since its launch last year, the H&F Winter Covid Fund has paid out more than £30,000 to frontline community projects.

Welcoming the latest wave of grants, H&F Council’s Deputy Leader Cllr Sue Fennimore said: “The growing debt crisis is one of the less visible effects of the pandemic, and the work of Crosslight and other local charities to assist those struggling to pay bills is very much appreciated.”

In the latest round of grants, a further £7,970 has been distributed. Anyone can contribute to the H&F Winter Covid Fund. Grants have been made to:

Age UK Hammersmith and Fulham – £500 for delivering cooked meals to older people shielding or with underlying health issues 

Crosslight – £200 for postage and stationery for clients in debt and financial hardship  

Family Friends – £980 to deliver a four-week digital programme of group engagement and wellbeing for families in H&F 

Friends of Wendell Park – £1,000 for sport equipment to help tackle rising childhood obesity 

Maggie's West London – £1,000 to help continue to provide free essential cancer support 

Music House for Children – £1,000 for a six-week musical activity programme for parents with young children 

Notting Hill Genesis Housing Association – £540 for wellbeing activity bags for isolated people in H&F care homes 

Play Association Hammersmith & Fulham – £750 for art and craft equipment for children and young people with complex needs 

The Kids Network – £1,000 for weekly mentoring for 30 vulnerable 8 to 11-year-olds 

The Upper Room – £1,000 for counselling people with mild to moderate mental health issues 

If you’re a community organisation you can apply for funding from the H&F Winter Covid Fund here.

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Image caption: Image 3: The Upper Room chief executive, Nicky Flynn (pictured)

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