First things first, who are you?
Jamie Hilton, Director, Fulham Good Neighbours
Which charity do you support?
Fulham Good Neighbours
What does your Fulham Good Neighbours do?
Since 1966 Fulham Good Neighbours has supported older and disabled people in their homes and gardens, in the community and at our community centre, and now online. We support almost 500 older and disabled people a year, supported by over 100 local volunteers.
In 2019 we received The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. In 2021 our impact survey found that 100% of beneficiaries would recommend our services; and 100% feel we create a community where neighbours look out and care for each other.
All of our projects are provided to beneficiaries for free. These include support in the home and garden via; decorating & DIY – for those that cannot pay, nor have ability to do the work themselves; food to the door – hot meals or food packages and toiletries delivered up to four times a week; and gardening – for those that cannot pay, nor have the ability to do the work themselves.
Also ‘Adopt a Garden’ befriending & gardening support and online gardening workshops delivered in partnership with Nubian Life
We also provide support in the community via our Good Neighbour Scheme - grocery shopping, medication delivery, escorts to appointments etc; Befriending – via telephone or in person and weekly social clubs such as art, chair based exercise, craft, lunch, reading, silver, Sunday tea.
Finally, support online via our online art group – delivered directly into the homes of beneficiaries; online chair based exercise and digital inclusion support for those excluded from digital communications
Where is your Fulham Good Neighbours based and where do they do most of their work?
We work in Fulham. The Borough has above national and London average poverty levels (31%) and has been hit disproportionately hard by the C-19 pandemic. One of our key estates is in the top 10% most deprived in the UK.
What sort of things do you use donations for?
All our donations go back directly into supporting older and disabled people via our projects.
What have you worked on that you're most proud of?
During the pandemic we were able to maintain our staff and volunteers, while most importantly transitioning our services to support even more older and disabled residents than before C-19 (at the same time ensuring that it was all done in C-19 secure ways). This included getting food to the doorsteps of 85 housebound beneficiaries up to four times a week. It included supporting our groups with IT equipment and volunteer support to ensure that they could access our social clubs in the comfort of their own homes.
What are the biggest challenges still to overcome?
Our services aim to tackle concerns raised in 2019 local Older People’s Commission (LBHF). These relate mainly to access to services, loneliness & isolation and poverty & deprivation.
We recognise 2017 Index For Wellbeing in Later Life (Age UK & University of Southampton) findings that meaningful engagement contributes at least 20% to wellbeing; and that, of 40 indicators, creative & cultural engagement & physical activity are most significant.
Finally, we recognise that there should be 'Nothing About Disabled People Without Disabled People' as per the 2018 local Disabled People's Commission.
What have you and your charity got planned for the next 12 months?
Since the start of the pandemic we transitioned many of our social clubs to an online platform or provided alternative support directly to our beneficiaries door. We are now in a place where we have a broader suite of projects, and are re-introducing everything that we did prior to the pandemic, while also maintaining all projects that evolved from the pandemic.
This means that those that continue to be reticent to return to the community centre can be supported in their Homes and Gardens, and those that want to get out and about can enjoy our community centre and other social clubs.
Other than donating, what’s the one thing people can do to support your charity and its mission?
If you want to support Jamie and the team at FGN, please download the Toucan app here and they'll appear in your portfolio when you first log in. If you've already downloaded Toucan, please search 'Fulham Good Neighbours'.