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

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

Hammersmith & Fulham

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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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.



H&F Ukraine Appeal is helping refugees rebuild lives

Tina and her son Yan had been living in their freezing basement and sleeping in their coats because of the constant bombing

Tetiana and Tina were both driven from their homes in Kyiv by the constant bombing. Their stories of escaping Ukraine with their children are harrowing, and they suffer from ongoing anxiety and PTSD. They’re the lucky ones though – they had savings to fund their escape and both received assistance. They’re now living in Fulham which they love, and have access to resources funded by the H&F Ukraine Appeal.

Tetiana knew the war has started at 5am on February 24 when the door was blown off her flat. The bombs kept coming and she didn’t know where to go. There was no sleep for 10 days as the bombardment continued, but eventually a group of 35 friends and neighbours, including nine children and a pregnant woman – set off for the Romanian border in seven cars.

Tina decided to leave Kyiv on March 6 when she realised her children, Yan and Zlata, could identify whether artillery was Ukrainian or Russian. They’d been living in the freezing, unheated basement of their home. ‘We had to sleep in our coats,’ she says. “It was a terrible time.”

Tina and Tetiana are incredibly grateful for their warm H&F welcome. Tina now has accommodation thanks to the Homes for Ukraine scheme. But they need assistance to get work and start using their skills to become independent and contribute to their new community. This is where the H&F Ukraine Appeal can have a significant impact.

Tetiana is a dentist and hopes to get her qualifications recognised here so she can use her skills and work


West London Welcome is a partner in the appeal and provides a friendly space in their community centre in Hammersmith where refugees, asylum-seeking people and migrants can meet, get advice, make friends, share information, and get help with housing and applying for benefits. Language is an issue, and WLW is working with the Ukrainian Institute in London to provide English classes and direct refugees to help in getting their professional qualifications recognised.

Smart and friendly, Tetiana is a dentist. Her escape included weeks in living in a shelter, huge queues at borders, and lack of transport. During her journey she found a woman travelling alone on foot with a six-month-old baby. Tetiana helped her and then in turn was helped by a pair of British men who helped her reach the UK and find a home.

Tetiana can’t work as a dentist here yet as she needs accreditation. Dasha, her chess champion daughter, is now settled at school and Tetiana is impatient to find employment. “I just want to find work, and work,” she says. The UK has a dentist shortage and her skills are valuable.

A qualified translator who speaks excellent English, Tina also needs accreditation to get a job. Meanwhile, she’s helping new arrivals. Tina’s architect husband is still in Kyiv with the family dog as men between 18 and 60 must stay behind. The couple have been together since they were 16. “It’s very difficult,” says Tina, who talks to him when she can, but “he’s lost his sense of living”.

Tina considers herself very fortunate to be in a peaceful, safe place. “I’m so grateful to the country,’ she says, ‘and the people who have opened their hearts.”

More about the H&F Ukraine Appeal

The H&F Ukraine Appeal is supported by H&F Giving, West London Welcome and the Hammersmith & Fulham Council. So far the Appeal has raised £24,000, which has helped refugees like Tina and Tetiana to regain some sense of stability by providing community support, practical items, and help with legal advice, classes or learning English.

The borough recognises that the Ukraine invasion has caused a humanitarian crisis and Hammersmith & Fulham welcomes refugees. Your donation can help traumatised people access what they need to rebuild their lives.

Ukrainian Support Fund

H&F Giving and Hammersmith & Fulham Council have also launched the Ukrainian Support Fund, which is awarding grants to community organisations that support Ukrainian refugees living in the local community. The funding has been raised via community and corporation donations and will support a wide range of local services, cultural activities and events. At this point we’ve awarded £7,000 to a variety of local groups supporting refugees.



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