Community groups welcome Ukraine Support Fund grants to assist refugees

Refugees found a friendly place to gather and exchange information at the Ukrainian Institute

We’re so proud to be part of such a generous community. We have been overwhelmed by the incredible support for the H&F Ukraine Appeal, which raised more than £21,000 to give refugees from war-torn Ukraine support and a warm welcome in the borough. Despite the cost of living crisis, local people and businesses in Hammersmith & Fulham have made an incredible contribution to giving traumatised refugees the essentials they need to rebuild their lives.

The appeal was a partnership between H&F Giving, H&F Council and the team at West London Welcome (WLW), which helps people escaping the war in Ukraine with a variety of services and practical items.

Around two thirds of the amount raised went to WLW so they could continue their work as a  community centre that reduces isolation and fosters inclusion.

The Ukraine Support Fund received £7,200, which was distributed to the local groups below, which applied for grants to fund projects for Ukrainians in the borough.


Fencing lessons gave young people an energetic way to learn new skills while their parents could make friends

Harrow Club

Since 1883, the Harrow Club has been a place where marginalised young people in West London have found opportunities to help them fulfil their potential. A grant from the Ukraine Support Fund helped pay for a Fencing Club, covering the costs of an instructor, transport and refreshments. This enabled 26 Ukrainian children to take part.

With funds for more sessions, Ukrainian children have also been welcomed into other youth club  activities, such as cooking. Around half of the young people bring their parents, who can relax in a social atmosphere and access an informal food bank, which also helps address feelings of anxiety and isolation.


English classes at Citizen Advice Hammersmith & Fulham gave Ukrainians a chance to mingle and improve their language skills

Citizens Advice Hammersmith & Fulham

Since October, Citizens Advice Hammersmith & Fulham  has increased the number of English classes on offer by 50% with their grant money. More than 20 students attend each class with many regulars.

WLW and the Shepherds Bush Family Project refer students. Classes continue and the number of Ukrainian students is expected to increase. It’s hoped the classes will continue long-term as they are both an opportunity to learn and a chance for Ukrainians to come together, enjoy each other’s company and form friendships.


English classes at the Ukrainian Institute were lively occasions, combining language lessons and the opportunity make new friends

Ukrainian Institute London 

The Ukrainian Institute London ran English classes for 35 displaced Ukrainians at WLW for 12 weeks between  September and December, 2022. There were two classes a week for all students, with one at WLW on a Friday morning and another class on Zoom. As many Ukrainians with children had little access to childcare, a creche at WLW made it possible for parents to attend classes.

The WLW classes were also social occasions, with tea and coffee afterwards, and a chance to mingle and share experiences. Students were invited to the WLW Christmas party to celebrate with others. The school manager and a teacher are displaced Ukrainians, so the initiative is providing work to skilled people who understand the needs of the students.


Ukraine Fund Support meant Barons Court Theatre could host workshops in a welcoming atmosphere

Kibo Productions/Barons Court Theatre

Kibo Productions is the managing company of Barons Court Theatre, a local venue that  supports emerging and early career artists, especially those who joined the industry in non-traditional ways and have limited networks in the UK. Founders Sharon Willems and Leo Bacica believe theatre is a powerful tool for transformation. Money from the Ukraine fund supported five workshops in improv acting, vocal coaching (two parts), playwriting, and networking practice, and nearly 80% of the attendees were refugees from the local area.

One Ukrainian participant said: “I feel a little desolate here sometimes. These workshops helped me feel less alone.” Another commented: “Being in a room with other artists is fundamental to maintaining sanity and one’s mental health.”


With grant money, SEAPIA could support families by providing a safe and stimulating space for children


Sands End Associated Projects In Action has been driving community projects to enrich children’s lives since 1970. With grant money, SEAPIA has supported families by providing a safe and stimulating space for children so parents could get on with finding work and sorting out accommodation. Children attending after school activities received hot meals and fruit, and were able to acquire English language skills and build friendships. They could also share their own language with staff and other children.

“I cannot thank you enough for the support and kindness that you have shown us,” said one mother. “We now feel that we can belong here and although we miss our country very much, finding you has helped my girls to become happier and more able to cope as they have found friends and people they can trust.”


Grant support meant WLW could provide a case worker who could assist refugees with a range of urgent issues

West London Welcome

WLW hosts a cheerful space where Ukrainian refugees can socialise and access vital resources in a friendly atmosphere. The WLW grant paid for a case worker, who has been an essential part of running a weekly Ukrainian drop-in and advice session over the past year. The case worker managed a range of vital tasks, including assessing urgent needs, preparing documents, making referrals and liaising with Ukrainian arrivals  and their hosts, the council and other NGOs. The drop-in provided a warm atmosphere with dedicated translators where Ukrainians could meet, relax, and ask questions and 118 people, including families with children, were supported in the borough and local area.

The case worker ensured vulnerable Ukrainians received the resources they needed and checked in with them regularly. The case worker also maintained ongoing communications with relevant authorities to monitor evolving policies for new arrivals, and re-allocating resources as necessary. Practical support included help with housing, applying for benefits and dealing with bureaucracy.

Donors we want to thank

We are very grateful to the Earls Court Development Company, which donated £4,800 to WLW, and a further £2,800 to the Ukraine Support Fund.  ECDC also donated £3,000 to support refugees and asylum seekers from other countries receiving support at WLW.

We also appreciate the continued support from the Friends of Charing Cross Hospital and their £1,000 donation to WLW.




A look back on H&F’s Big Christmas Day Lunch

Hammersmith & Fulham

More than 200 older residents enjoyed Our Big Christmas Day Lunch in Hammersmith thanks to donations from local residents and businesses.

The guests – who would otherwise have celebrated alone – joined us at the Novotel London West hotel for a two-course festive feast, complete with live music from Vivid Jazz and free transport.

The entire day was made possible thanks to £30,000 in donations from local residents and businesses such as Chelsea FC and Queens Park Rangers FC.

Christmas gifts

Our guests were given a gift bag and a personalised Christmas card, written and decorated by pupils from John Betts and Melcombe primary schools, as well as community groups at local libraries.

Guests were also given a free raffle ticket. Prizes included chocolates donated from Hotel Chocolat, mince pies from Melrose and Morgan, and restaurant vouchers from Patri. First prize was dinner and an overnight stay for two at the Novotel.

Generous donations

All donations were raised by local charity, H&F Giving. Companies who donated included local football teams Chelsea (£5,000) and QPR (£1,000).

The Hammersmith BID donated £500, local gyms operator GLL contributed £1,000, while local anti-poverty charity DEBK gave £6,000 towards the lunch. In addition, The Earls Court Development Company gave £5,000.

“It was great to help with such a festive celebration for those that would otherwise spend Christmas Day alone,” said Flora Taylor, Executive Director of H&F Giving. “The appeal really resonated with local companies, trusts and residents and their support has been incredibly generous.”

Helping hands

A total of 131 volunteers helped, including 33 residents who gave their time on Christmas Day. Volunteers also packed each guest’s gift bag and assisted with driving everyone to and from the hotel.

“The best part of the packing was seeing the little kids’ Christmas cards today,” said volunteer Delfina, 23, from Hammersmith.

“They’ve come from a couple of local schools and have been made for the residents who need a little bit more Christmas love this year. They’re sweet, each card is different and personalised.”

You can check out pictures from the day here in our Big H&F Christmas Day Lunch Flickr gallery.

Logos for Chelsea Football Club, Dr Edwards & Bishop's King, Hammersmith BID, Queen's Park Rangers and The Earls Court Development Company


Festive fun brings community together at Big H&F Christmas Day Lunch

Community spirit: Sushila Palan and Wajha Al-Hariri with the Daryl Brown, Deputy Mayor

The 2022 Big H&F Christmas Lunch was a triumph. It was even more festive for being the first time we’ve been able to host this event for three years due to Covid. This lunch brought hundreds of community members together to celebrate Christmas with food, gifts and music at the Novotel London West hotel in Hammersmith.

H&F Giving worked with Hammersmith & Fulham Council to organise and raise funds to treat older, isolated residents of the borough to a lovely two-course lunch with a gift bag and free transport for those who needed it.

Flora Taylor, Executive Director (Maternity Cover), H&F Giving, said: “It was great to be able to help with such a festive celebration for those that would otherwise spend Christmas Day alone. The appeal really resonated with local companies, trusts and residents and their support has been incredibly generous. Any funding raised that goes beyond the costs of the event will be put towards next year’s event.”

Loved every minute

“We loved every single minute of it,” said one resident of Sycamore House, an almshouse run by Hammersmith United Charities for low-income elderly residents. “Eternal thanks to all of the organisers.”

The lunch is completely funded by local giving so we are incredibly grateful to everyone who contributed gift items, money, or their time to make this event happen. Many local people contributed to the lunch appeal by making donations via our website.  More than 240 people donated to our crowdfunding campaign which raised an incredible £16,330.

Local businesses also made invaluable contributions and we also want to thank our major sponsors.

DEBK, a local charity which has been working to relieve poverty in Fulham since 1618, gave us incredible support with a donation of £6,000.

We extend a big thank you to Chelsea Football Club, which made an incredibly valuable contribution to our appeal with a gift of £5,000.

A generous contribution of £5,000 from The Earls Court Development Company was also instrumental in the lunch going ahead.

Our wonderful local football club QPR can always be counted on for support and they didn’t disappoint this year with a donation of £1,000.

GLL makes a vital contribution to helping make community spaces better for everyone and we really appreciate the £1,000 they contributed to making the lunch a success.

Hammersmith BID is a loyal supporter of the community and we also greatly appreciate the £500 the organisation donated to our lunch event.

Patri artisan Indian street food and drinks also donated restaurant vouchers for the raffle and we thank them for their delicious contribution.

Guests took to the dance floor when the band started to play

A welcome return after 3 years

This was the first time in three years that this event brought people together, as the pandemic meant no lunch in 2020 and 2021. In 2022 we organised an operation to bring hot meals to the homes of residents.

But nothing compares with the joy of being with friendly faces at Christmas and we were delighted to hold the event and bring older people in the borough together in 2022 to celebrate with companionship, great food, music and seasonal cheer.

We really appreciate everyone who contributed to making this happen, from volunteers on the day, volunteers who packed gift bags, those who attended, the hotel staff, and of course our generous sponsors.

See you next year!

LBHF Christmas Day Big Lunch 2022 at the Novotel Hotel.

LBHF Christmas Day Big Lunch 2022 at the Novotel Hotel.

Help us bring Christmas lunch to 500 older H&F residents

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Older residents enjoy their Christmas lunch in 2019

Hammersmith & Fulham

Our Big H&F Christmas Day Lunch is back for older residents who’ll be alone on Christmas Day.

With the generous support of residents and H&F Giving, Hammersmith & Fulham Council is again hoping to give up to 500 older residents who live alone a two-course festive feast, with transport to and from the lunch, and a bag of gifts on 25 December.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your help to raise £30,000 – and any amount big or small that you can donate will make a difference.

“I’m delighted we can once again invite older residents to come together for a great lunch, gifts and company on Christmas Day,” said Cllr Ben Coleman, Deputy Leader of H&F.

“The cost-of-living crisis means that many of our older neighbours will be watching every penny more than ever this Christmas. Our Big Christmas Day Lunch will make this a special day for people who would otherwise go without.

“H&F is known for its community spirit and generosity and we’re hoping residents will pitch in with donations, and perhaps even volunteer on the day, to help make this a Christmas Day lunch to remember.”

Donate now

The Christmas Day celebration will be taking place at the Novotel London West hotel, Hammersmith, with volunteers and professional staff on hand to serve food and drink.

How your donation will make a difference

The Big H&F Christmas Day Lunch relies on the generosity of local people, businesses and charities to bring the Christmas spirit to elderly, isolated residents.

Here’s how your donation will make a difference:

  • £420 will pay for seven residents’ Christmas lunches and gift bags, as well as a lift to and from the venue on Christmas Day.
  • £60 will pay for one resident’s two-course Christmas dinner, gift bag and transportation.
  • £25 will pay transportation for an elderly resident on Christmas Day.

If you would like to donate a smaller amount, £10 could be put towards a thoughtful present, for example a food voucher, in the Christmas gift bag.

Please donate now

To find out about corporate sponsorships, or to donate items such as gift bags, food, treats, vouchers and more through your company, email Flora Taylor, Campaign Director at H&F Giving, at, by Friday 9 December.

Want to volunteer?

The Big H&F Christmas Day Lunch wouldn’t be possible without the help of volunteers.

If you’d like to help pack Christmas goodie bags from Monday 19 December to Saturday 24 December, or would like to volunteer your time at the lunch on Christmas Day, please sign up using our form.


We Have a New Website!

H&F Giving has a new website!

We are delighted to launch our brand-new website that has been designed and populated by two local agencies.

The website helps bring to life our new brand and visual identity, makes it easier for local people and organisations to get involved and tells the story of our borough.

Interim Chief Executive, Flora Taylor says:

“As a community facing charity our website is vital. We need to showcase our energy and professionalism and demonstrate the many activities H&F Giving is involved in locally. WebFX and Blueprint Partners nailed this – we are delighted with the website. Thank you so much – we are hugely grateful for your generosity and incredible work in bringing the ideas to life. Thank you to Purposeful Marketing for managing the project so efficiently.”

Why did we need a new website?

Early in 2022 we changed our name to H&F Giving because the old name was beginning to hold us back – it didn’t make it clear that we are a separate charity from our founders.

We wanted to make it as easy as possible for people seeking support to find it and get it so with support from London Funders, we commissioned Louise Kavanagh of Purposeful Marketing to develop a distinctive new name and brand for us. You can read more about that here.

We also needed our website to distinguish H&F Giving from other local charities. We needed a platform that would make it easy for visitors to understand what we do and why, then encourage more people to get involved.

We want our community (individuals and organisations) to know we are there for them, we can be approached, and if we can’t help, we can direct you to someone or somewhere that can.

The local marketing agencies

Through our extensive local connections, we were very fortunate to secure the support of Blueprint Partners and WebFX, who have worked together to design, build and populate our new website.

Kate Fuller, Frontend Developer, at award winning local digital marketing agency WebFX UK took on the task of designing and building the website.

Kate says:

“We have really enjoyed working alongside H&F Giving and Blueprint Partners on the redesign and rebuild of the H&F Giving website. At WebFX we put importance on making an impact, especially within the local community, and we hope that H&F Giving’s new website will make a difference to them and the impact they can make.”

Blueprint Partners, a global agency with an office in Fulham, developed all the written content.

Dan Jones, Account Director at Blueprint Partners, says:

“It’s been an absolute pleasure working with the H&F Giving and WebFX teams which we think everyone should be very proud of and we hope H&F will enjoy the benefits of their new site. Our mantra here at Blueprint is to leave the world in a better place than we found it, and this is just a small step we can make in that direction.”

With brand oversight and project management support from Purposeful Marketing, the two agencies were able to develop a distinctive, easy-to-use website that truly reflects HF Giving’s mission and ambitions.

We hope you like it as much as we do!

Pedal Gives Back

Supporting Ukrainian refugees

Hammersmith & Fulham

We’re working to ensure that all arriving Ukrainian refugees are welcomed and supported as they begin to rebuild their lives within the borough.

Everyone is welcome in Hammersmith & Fulham, especially those fleeing conflict, persecution, or humanitarian crisis.

We’re working with H&F Giving and West London Welcome to create the H&F Ukraine Appeal, a fund accepting resident donations for incoming Ukrainian refugees.

All money raised through the fund will go towards supporting Ukrainian refugees in H&F, regardless of the visa they arrived on. This ensures that all H&F based refugees will receive PayPoint vouchers equivalent to the ones the Government is providing to those on a ‘Homes for Ukraine’ visa.

H&F Giving are accepting donations of all sizes and have raised more than £14,000 so far.

Donate now

Image 1Iryna Dydyk with the small backpack she travelled with between Ukraine and the UK

A new life

Iryna Dydyk recently arrived in H&F after fleeing the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

She is being supported by H&F and recently attended one of our Ukrainian welcome events at the Hammersmith Quaker meeting house.

Read Iryna’s story here.

Support for Ukraine

Many of our residents also want to help those on the frontline. If you’d like to help, but aren’t sure how best to, you can find out here.

“Imagine fleeing terrifying danger in your home country and finding yourself in a new part of London, confused about who to trust. We don’t want that to happen to those who land in Hammersmith & Fulham,” said Flora Taylor, Executive Director of Hammersmith & Fulham Giving (Maternity Cover).

“The first arrivals from Ukraine have arrived, but we expect more. A cash donation to the fundraiser will ensure the right professionals, from therapists to legal advisors, including those with the right language skills, are on hand to respond locally.”

Or check out the different ways you can help, and find support here:

Homes for Ukraine scheme: Are you willing to host a Ukrainian refugee? Register your interest on the GOV.UK website.

Please let H&F Council know if you’ve registered your home on the Government website, or require support for a family member on the Ukraine family scheme by emailing or calling 0800 145 6095.

Worried about family or friends? Find out who to contact on the GOV.UK visa support for Ukrainian nationals page.

Help for those who have arrived: Visit our refugee and asylum seeker help and support in H&F page.


The Sharing Table: A Community Cookbook

H&F charity fund gives £200,000 to residents in need

Image 1Pictured left to right are Clare Hirons, Julie Cavanagh and Rosie Borgia in the new SEAPIA kitchen

Hammersmith & Fulham

A fresh wave of grant aid to grassroots projects means that more than £200,000 has now been distributed to local residents in need.

The Household Support Fund channels government money to support residents with food, energy and water costs, and other essentials.

Set up by Hammersmith & Fulham Council and administered by H&F Giving (formerly known as UNITED in H&F), the fund has made a real difference to dozens of projects.

Savraj Kaur, Executive Director at H&F Giving, said: “We are living through the worst cost-of-living crisis for decades, with income dropping, fuel and food prices surging, and a war pushing boundaries even more.”

Sands End help

One project helped by the fund is Sands End Associated Projects in Action (SEAPIA), which provides low-cost play and childcare for children aged four-13. Director Julie Cavanagh said it ensured that 175 hot meals could be served each week, plus supermarket vouchers to families most in need.

Parents and carers have expressed thanks. One carer said: “The food vouchers help us immensely; I am very humbled by your generosity.” A parent added: “It’s the little things that count, and I feel very lucky to have help like this.”

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Dads House volunteers packing food bank essentials

Other projects to gain funding include:

Active Successful Engagement, which supports parents and carers. The Barons Court Project tackles poverty in the community. Bishop Creighton House helps residents with shopping, food delivery, hot meals, home repairs and utility payments, while Bubblesqueakeat runs a five-day-a-week food stall, distributing to those who can’t afford rising prices.

Dads House funds food bank essentials, Oyster card top-ups and offers help paying bills, and Foodbank Doorsteppers supports the borough food banks and has, to date, collected nearly 100 tonnes of food. Fulham Good Neighbours offers help in the home and garden, including hot meal deliveries.

Both The Kulan Foundation and the Lido Foundation help households with food, utility bills and clothing, while Lets Unite For Autism supports vulnerable families with money worries.

Lucas Ark assists with moving costs and temporary housing, while M&C Foundation supports 120 White City families to access small grants, and the Minaret Community Centre provides culturally appropriate aid to 150 families.

The Mother and Child Welfare Organisation provides food parcels, telephone support and utility bill help, and Nourish Hub supports families with cookery sessions. People Arise Now assists former prisoners, while Play Association H&F supports 19 families on low incomes.

Ravenscourt Baptist Church helps with food and bills, while River House Trust buys supplies for its food bank. 

Somali Parents assists families with bills and food, and the St Paul’s Money Advice Centre gives debt advice. The Urban Partnership Group works with families on the White City and Edward Woods estates, West London Welcome assists refugees, and the White City Interfaith Partnership gives out food, sanitary and cleaning items.

Debbie Robinson at H&F Giving said: “This funding is meeting the needs of local people at a time when prompt action to provide targeted assistance is vital.”

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Fulham Good Neighbours volunteers working in the kitchen


H&F UKRAINE APPEAL: Help those in need

Hammersmith & Fulham

Everyone’s welcome in Hammersmith & Fulham. That’s why we’re working to ensure arriving Ukrainian refugees receive the best support possible.

We’re working with H&F Giving and West London Welcome to create the H&F Ukraine Appeal. The appeal will supply support, advice and items to refugees who have fled the conflict and local residents affected by the crisis.

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine is destroying millions of innocent lives, and we have seen the horrors of war unfold daily causing a humanitarian crisis,” said H&F’s Lead Member for Refugees, Cllr Rebecca Harvey.

“We at H&F stand with the Ukrainian people and are ready to welcome anyone fleeing the conflict – and we thank those who have reached out to offer support and care to refugees.”

H&F Giving are accepting donations of all sizes and every penny given to the appeal will be spent directly on Ukrainian refugees arriving in H&F.

A £20 donation can help provide refugees with a friendly community space to gather together in and reconnect with each other in H&F. £100 can help provide a mother and child with the essentials, and £500 can help provide therapeutic or casework support for arriving refugees.

Donate now

Support for Ukraine

Many of our residents also want to help those on the frontline. If you’d like to help, but aren’t sure how best to, you can find out here.

“Imagine fleeing terrifying danger in your home country and finding yourself in a new part of London, confused about who to trust. We don’t want that to happen to those who land in Hammersmith & Fulham,” said Savraj Kaur, Executive Director of Hammersmith & Fulham Giving.

“The first arrivals from Ukraine have been helped, but we expect more. A cash donation to the fundraiser will ensure the right professionals, from therapists to legal advisors, including those with the right language skills, are on hand to respond locally.”

Or check out the different ways you can help, and find support here:

Homes for Ukraine scheme: Are you willing to host a Ukrainian refugee? Register your interest on the GOV.UK website.

Please let H&F Council know if you’ve registered your home on the Government website, or require support for a family member on the Ukraine family scheme by emailing or calling 0800 145 6095.

Need immigration or visa advice?

The Ukraine Advice Project provides free immigration advice by qualified lawyers for those fleeing Ukraine.

Worried about family or friends?

Find out who to contact on the GOV.UK visa support for Ukrainian nationals page.

To find out more about H&F’s work to support all refugees, please visit our supporting refugees and asylum seekers page.

Help for those who have arrived

GOV.UK – Welcome guide for Ukrainians arriving in the UK

H&F Information for refugees or asylum seekers in H&F

Finding a school place

If you know a refugee or asylum seeker who has recently arrived in H&F and is school aged, find out how you can secure them a local school place by contacting our school admissions team on 020 8753 1085 or visit our school admissions page.

Have you received your Covid-19 vaccination abroad?

Book an appointment at a local vaccination site who have the facilities to validate vaccinations that have been administered abroad. Visit the tell the NHS about coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccinations you’ve had abroad page.