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We’re helping local charities provide cost-of-living support

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Image captionImage 1: Founder of Solidarity Sports Sean Mendez (left) pictured with William McGranaghan, Founder of Dads House (right)

Hammersmith & Fulham Council has given £240,000 in grants to 36 local organisations helping residents with the cost-of-living crisis.

Working in partnership with H&F Giving, the council’s Summer Household Support Fund grants have gone directly to charities supporting residents with the cost of food, energy bills and essential items.

One-third of the funding was ringfenced for pensioners and a further third for households with children under 19.

“These grants are part of what we’re doing to help families to stay safe, fed and warm in these tough times,” said Cllr Ben Coleman, Deputy Leader of H&F. “As well as this new funding, we’ve frozen council tax and charges, are providing free breakfasts in primary schools and are the only borough not to charge elderly and Disabled residents for care at home.

“We’re now strengthening our work with charities, businesses, the NHS and other partners to do even more for residents who are struggling.”

To find out what support is currently available, including with paying your rent or mortgage and advice on benefits, visit our cost-of-living webpage.

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Image caption: Image 2: Solidarity Sports staff members May-Ann (left) and Rian (right)

Helping children

Solidarity Sports, a Fulham based charity which supports disadvantaged children by promoting good health, wellness, and togetherness, received £20,000 from the council and shared half with Dads House Food Bank.

The charity supported 123 children this summer, a huge increase on the 85 they cared for in 2021.

“We know for a fact that the funds you gave us have made a significant difference to the lives of H&F families,” said Sean Mendez, Founder of Solidarity Sports.

“Many lack basic and essential necessities and the grant money has helped alleviate that burden. This has ranged from replacing broken washing machines to smaller payments like allergen-friendly food and school uniforms. Some families can’t even afford to travel to the food bank, and we’ve been able to top up their oyster cards too.”

Sean added, “Often these families have already got existing challenges.”

There’s already trauma, mental health issues, depression, anxiety and self-harm. When you add financial strain to this, it just exacerbates these living standards, but we’ve been able to help alleviate these pressures a little through your funds.”

The grant has meant that Solidarity Sports have been able to support children going back to school this September, buying laptops so they can access the internet.

And the charity has supported local families by paying for after-school clubs.

Sean said, “For one boy, his mum couldn’t afford the after-school swimming club he wanted to go to because she’s got no recourse to public funds or local benefits and only has £7 a week to live on.

“He’s so happy to be able join in with his friends. There’ll be so many others in a similar situation that we’re almost putting a plaster on a wound, but we are making a difference.”

Solidarity Sports has recently opened their first permanent office in the borough on the site of the old Seven Stars pub, North End Road. The Earls Court Development Company has provided the location rent free for five years.

Providing the essentials

Bubble & Squeak received £2,500 to support their offer of free food and sanitary products at their surplus food stall.

The stall, run by local school children and adult volunteers, is open to anyone who needs it and thanks to the grant will now run five days a week, Monday to Friday.

The Kulan Foundation got £10,700 grant to fund supermarket vouchers and financial aid for those struggling to pay their heating, water, energy, broadband and phone bills.

Other beneficiaries include Hammersmith & Fulham Foodbank, who received £12,600, African Women’s Care, who received £2,000, and debt advice charity Crosslight Advice, who received £10,500 to support their clients with food and clothes vouchers. Somali Parents received £5,000 to help provide basic necessities and to top up residents’ gas and electricity meters.

More support

If you need urgent support with food, medicine, loneliness, isolation or fuel payments please call Community Connect on 0800 145 6095.

To find out what support is available, including support paying your rent or mortgage and advice on benefits, visit our cost-of-living webpage.

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