BY YANN TEAR
Fulham Good Neighbour Service has been awarded this year’s Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services – the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK.
The charity, based at Rosaline Hall in Roseline Road, supports around 500 mainly older people living in Fulham every year.
It was set up in 1966 but was born out of the Fulham District Nursing Association, established in the 19th century.
Today, Fulham Good Neighbours is a registered charity, with two full-time and five part-time members of staff and around 80 volunteers.
The organisation provides free services to older, disabled or housebound people to help them remain in their own homes and to overcome social isolation.
Services are undertaken by a network of local volunteers who are often motivated by making a contribution to the community or seek work experience and social contact themselves.
The services offered include gardening, befriending, decorating, help with digital technology, and help with other practical tasks such as wheelchair pushing, escorting, transport, pet care, errands, and general DIY.
The organisation also runs various social clubs: Art Group, Fulham Carers, Fulham Lunch Club, Shared Reading Group, Chair Based Exercise Groups, Fulham Sunday Afternoon Teas and Silver Clubs in local restaurants – a subsidised meal club.
The charity, whose president is the Mayor of Hammersmith and Fulham council, has previously been recognised with a range of awards, including the Best Charity in the borough and the London Healthy Workplace Award.
The charity was also shortlisted for the City of London The Lord Mayor’s Dragon Award in the Community Partnership category and one of its volunteers – Clive Domm – received the Long-term Volunteering Award from the Mayor of London.
Fulham Good Neighbours receives support from Pret a Manger, City Harvest and The Felix Project, who donate food to the social clubs run by the organisation and has a turnover of £200,000 a year, made up of grants and donations.
Krzysztof Mikata-Pralat, director of the charity, said: “For me, this award is really about the volunteers being appreciated for their motivation and commitment.
“We’ve been running for over 50 years and few organisations receive this kind of recognition. It’s quite an honour and I hope it will serve as a motivation in years to come.”
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