In 2020/21 Hampton Fund awarded 76 grants to Community Organisations to the value of £1,354,600, tackling disadvantage and giving help and opportunities to people living in our area of benefit.
These are some of the stories that show the impact we have made to change lives and support our local communities.
SPEAR provides holistic support for homeless people. Our £50,000 grant helps towards two staff salaries and associated costs to support the Skills Development Programme and Volunteering at Spear.
Sam’s relationship with her mother broke down when she was 16 years old and she was forced to leave her family home. Sam stayed with friends and sofa surfed for several years whilst working. At the time, she was also dealing with depression triggered by the breakdown of her relationship with her mother.
When the COVID-19 lockdown hit in March 2020, Sam was asked to leave the house she was staying in due to issues around space and concerns about the virus. Sam also lost her job due to the impact on the hospitality industry during COVID-19. At 22-years old Sam became street homeless during a global pandemic and had run out of places to turn to for help.
Sam was found rough sleeping by the SPEAR Richmond Outreach team and provided accommodation during the Everyone In initiative. She was linked in with health support and SPEAR skills and wellbeing support. This support stayed in place during Sam’s move into one of SPEAR’s accommodation projects. Sam has since participated in music workshops and cookery training to improve wellbeing, employability and independent living skills.
Sam is now being supported by her skills and wellbeing worker and the keyworker in her accommodation to prepare for enrolling on an accredited qualification. SPEAR has facilitated a laptop for the project so that Sam will be able to access courses that have moved online and access health support via video conference if needed. Sam will continue to be supported by SPEAR to learn new skills, find longer-term housing, find a job and continue to build her confidence.
A successful self-employed builder, Andy was unfortunately a victim of domestic violence and under complex circumstances he was not allowed to enter his home. With no access to his tools and home he could not continue to work and so became homeless.
Andy’s mental health worsened as he went through months of divorce proceedings and he even contemplated suicide.
Andy contacted SPEAR and was assigned a case worker who helped him look for accommodation. He became increasingly involved with activities at Spear’s Hub in Twickenham, attending the peer mentoring group sessions every week. He was amazed by the staff’s kindness and consideration:
“From the moment I walked in I could just feel sense of warmth and how willing they were to help me, a stranger.”
Based at the Crossway Centre, Twickenham, Skylarks addresses the needs of children and young people with disabilities/additional needs (0-25 years) and their families. The charity offers a Legal Advocacy Service; counselling; and a range of activities including karate, drama groups, yoga, cookery, pedal project, weekly hydrotherapy sessions and a music club provided by OK Music Trust. The charity received a grant of £25,000 towards the salary of the Development Manager.
Richmond Users Independent Living Scheme (RUILS) is a user-led charity supporting people with disabilities/additional needs to live independently. Hampton Fund supports the following services with grants of £28,000 and £30.000:
C was a single parent to a young person (YP) with a neurodevelopmental condition. C had long term depression for which she was on medication. She was in temporary housing with most of the essential white goods missing from the accommodation.
The Family Matters Service supported C to access grants to fund a fridge, cooker, microwave, essential kitchen items and furniture for her house. We wrote supporting letters to housing to ensure the family wasn’t moved to another temporary accommodation, which would have an impact on the young person’s schooling. The service was also able to act as mediator and advocate between the school, Achieving for Children (AFC) and mum to review the YP’s EHCP and support the family through the process.
During Covid-19, the support worker organised walk-meetings in the local park with C to support her when she struggled with isolation and issues with the school. C was also struggling with her food bills and our service was able to organise fully funded grocery deliveries to C to support her through the year. C continues to receive invites to our workshops that are presented by specialists on various topics concerning children and young people with disabilities.
A 9-year-old adopted Richmond child with traumatic early years was denied the EHCP Needs Assessment, despite a clear diagnosis of SEN and academic and sporting potential. The child suffered from extreme physical symptoms and plummeting self-esteem. The SEND Advice Service intervention resulted in the granting of a EHCP and, despite concerted local authority opposition, placement in the best possible local independent school with excellent sporting facilities and an actively inclusive ethos. The family was greatly relieved and the child’s condition vastly improved. The child is now thriving.
Hampton Fund currently provides 3 regular grants – a total of £73,000 to provide 1-1 respite care visits and a Saturday club to support up to 40 children with Special Educational Needs and Young Carers.
In addition, the Men Who Care Project addresses the negative impact caring has on the mental and physical health of male carers. The project offers practical support including respite care, social activities to reduce isolation and discreet individualised support.
Mr. S is in his late thirties and has been a Carer for his mother, in her mid-seventies, since early 2020, following the death of his father to COVID-19. His mother had suffered from alcoholism and had a fall, where she was hospitalised. The fall has had long-term effects on her mobility, and she now spends most of her time in bed. Mr. S spends at least two-thirds of every day caring for his mother, he has limited help and the only other support he receives is from a lunchtime Carer.
Mr. S said he felt very trapped and isolated in his caring role to the point he felt “locked up”. He also felt extremely stressed, anxious and has suffered from family breakdown and lack of friendships. He was very aware of his poor mental wellbeing but did not know where to turn. He first heard of Crossroads Care and the Men Who Care project in March 2020, during the first national lockdown when the charity helped the family providing support including medication drops and shopping service. Through participating in the Men Who Care Project, Mr. S has felt the benefit of having a break from his caring responsibilities and the opportunity to socialise and speak about his role as a Carer with other men in an environment where he feels supported.
LEAH runs weekly classes for vulnerable people from minority ethnic communities to help them improve their English language skills and to take a more active part in their local community. Hampton Fund provides grants of £22,500 to support the overall work of the charity.
Until March 2020 these classes were run face to face by trained volunteers but with the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated lockdown, classes moved from the Whitton Community Centre to online classes delivered remotely via Zoom.
In addition to helping participants improve their English language skills, lessons have provided an opportunity for people to connect with others during a really frightening and difficult time. Many of the people LEAH works with are socially very isolated and the weekly classes have given people a chance to speak to and connect with others. Through the classes LEAH has focussed very much on health information, ensuring people are able to recognise coronavirus symptoms, understand the test and trace system and know what to do if they or someone in their family becomes unwell. Speakers from the local NHS have offered support and advice on the vaccination programme, on maintaining health and wellbeing and on keeping safe and well during the various restrictions.
“The classes have made me more confident in speaking English to people around me”
“I have enjoyed meeting other people in the LEAH classes and learning about life in the UK”
“I would like to thank you to all, especially our volunteer teachers. Every week we have a topic and we learn new words. Our teachers encourage us to speak. This makes us more confident while speaking and express ourselves”
Recycles furniture, collecting donated items from residents across the borough to sell to the public, with a reduced cost for those on benefits/low income. There is also upcycling, furniture restoration and repairs. The charity is keen to improve and strengthen the support given to volunteers, who gain a range of skills and work experience. Our grant of £28,000 pays for the full-time Volunteer Co-ordinator and associated costs
We are keen to build stronger communities through investment in infrastructure. ETNA is a vibrant community centre offering a range of activities, including a nursery and office space for several charities. As part of a major refurbishment, our £29,500 grant paid towards the new kitchen extension, ramp for full access to the front of the building and a decked terrace area to the rear of the property.
Case Study: I came to the Mulberry Centre as my partner had been diagnosed with kidney cancer. It had been very difficult to get a diagnosis for him initially and once he was diagnosed, he went into an intensive round of surgeries and then onto oncology. We had only been together for a year and having to navigate a major health challenge. I had tried to reach out to my GP for support, but I was only offered medication or CBT and I felt that neither of these options were right for me. My work-life started to suffer. I needed to be able to talk and be heard and supported.
I felt a huge sense of relief after my first encounter with the person at The Mulberry Centre who registered me. For the first time I felt the weight of the situation that I had been experiencing and I felt relief in finding a place where people understood. I started to feel that I was in a safe space where I could come and be supported, and this was amazing. The welcoming staff are always helpful and warm, and the space feels light and bright and comfortable.
I registered for counselling, massage and signed up to the creative writing group. The creative writing group has been life changing in that, alongside the counselling, it has helped me open up my voice and I have found a new talent for writing. The group leader, a retired English teacher, is brilliant, she is very nurturing and supportive and supports the group very well. Over the past year we have been meeting safely on zoom and it has felt like a point of stability and growth. I have also accessed self-massage over zoom and was sent a gift of an aroma stick which helps with feeling relaxed and uplifted.
My counsellor was truly wonderful, I feel very fortunate to have encountered her at this time. I think she must have a lot of experience and skill which she offers for free - and this is like gold dust in an otherwise inaccessible system. She helped me open up and embrace myself, learn not to be scared of my feelings and my past and to re-discover my own strengths and capability. It was profoundly beneficial.
I hope more people can access The Mulberry Centre and receive this support.