Age UK H&F

Age UK H&F

Service name: The Connect Project

Service description

Age UK Hammersmith & Fulham delivers the Connect Project, with funding from H&F Council. The service includes a lunch club café, IT training for older people, information and advice, a weekly programme of physical and mental activities, talks and workshops, befriending and small jobs and services, from shopping to light gardening.

Funded until

31 March 2021

Annual funding level

£160,000

In the past year:

The service’s 444 volunteers delivered 27,000 hours of work (worth £260,000) supporting 1,120 residents. The total funding raised by Age UK H&F in the past year tops £300,000.

Outcomes being achieved

  • With 24 different programmes in the Active Age project, 214 people took advantage of the service, with attendance numbers totalling 4,837
  • There have been 36 outings in the year, with 551 people enjoying days out
  • Some classes have ended (the carers’ choir and chair pilates due to low attendance, and the Persian Social Club as the group leader left). Funding issues mean the handyman service is suspended
  • Monday’s breakfast club and Wednesday’s full tea service have provided 4,356 meals
  • 88% of clients say they receive a very good or outstanding service

Future plans

  • An operations manager has been employed as extra management cover, and a part-time volunteer co-ordinator recruited to work with the existing co-ordinator
  • The service increased its food safety rating to 5 stars, the highest possible
  • A year’s funding was secured for the upcycling project, helping end isolation feelings among older men and providing items for sale in the charity shop
  • Age UK H&F has worked in partnership with BBC Worldwide, Santander, Chivas Regal, Estee Lauder and Lilly Pharmaceuticals, who provide volunteers and facilitate events such as whisky tasting, a picnic at Kew’s Royal Botanic Gardens, entertainment and games
  • The charity shop previously situated in the W12 Centre has relocated to Percy Barton House in Dawes Road SW6
  • The Local and Vocal group hosted an event at the Town Hall, the morning of the Mayor’s tea party
  • New classes are planned in yoga, movement (with Ballet Rambert), meditation, reflexology and falls prevention
  • As part of digital inclusion, the Connect Project is launching a five-week course on smartphones and tablets, focusing on shopping, banking, form-filling, social media and communication (such as Skype)

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