Fighting food Poverty

Old Oak Centre signs up to foodbank voucher initiative

Old Oak Community & Children’s Centre has signed up to become a voucher distributor for the Hammersmith and Fulham Foodbank.

The Foodbank works in partnership with agencies who support vulnerable families and individuals in crisis, providing food to those who are having difficulty purchasing enough to avoid hunger.

As a registered foodbank distributor we will hold vouchers which we can give direct to families in crisis, who can then take it to the food distribution centre.  Each voucher is valued at around £24.

How the H&F Foodbank works

Food is donated by H&F residents which is then sorted and packed by volunteers into 3 days’ worth of food.  The foodbank works with local organisations to establish a network of voucher distributers as well as helping to support the people in crisis in addressing their underlying financial issues.

Old Oak makes an impact in the Community

Ofsted success for Old Oak Housing Association’s Community and Children’s Centre

In line with the Family Mosaic core values of improving the health, wealth and wellbeing of its residents, Old Oak Housing Association understood that as a community based organisation, they were in an excellent position to make a difference to the lives of local families by extending their existing community centre to a children’s centre.

After gaining designated status for a children’s centre in 2007 time was spent consulting with local parents to ensure that the services of the new centre would respond to the needs of local children and families. Local parents even had an input on the design of the refurbished building. After its launch in 2009, the success of the centre has continued to grow- with over 800 local families now registered and 500 people attending.

At the end of November, Ofsted, the regulatory body responsible for standards in education, children’s services and skills, decided to give the Old Oak Community and Children’s Centre, an early Christmas present- their first inspection!

With only four days’ notice before the inspection took place, staff at the centre put their well-rehearsed preparations into action.

Over the course of two days, Ofsted inspectors visited the centre and interviewed the people who work with or use the centre; from the head teacher at the local primary school, the local police, the people who provide services – and of course the parents of the children who attend.

After an anxious wait, staff were delighted to be told they had been graded “GOOD” on every criteria for inspection, including its overall effectiveness and the opportunities available for families. The report commented on how staff at the centre are ‘passionate about improving life chances for families within the reach area and how their work has good impact.’

David Leach, Director of Old Oak said,

“This is an excellent result for the team and the communities they serve and reflects a great deal of hard work over the last three years.”

This is a great result for the relatively new Children’s Centre, and is a good sign of things to come.

The Ofsted inspections result confirms that in a short space of time the Old Oak Community and Children’s centre has become an invaluable space for adults and children to learn new skills and improve their wellbeing and feel safe.  The full report can be read here. Ofsted Report 2012

Old Oak offers opportunity to over 65’s

 Old Oak have been working with the Elders Resettlement team at LB Hammersmith & Fulham on how we can meet the needs of our older residents who may need aids and adaptations and address the issue of under-occupancy.

A series of visits were arranged to look at 3 sheltered housing schemes across the borough. Residents were invited to attend with no obligations other than to see what sheltered housing schemes can look like, meet other residents, talk to the staff that manage these schemes and look at the accommodation itself.

Feedback from residents was very positive which has led to two residents deciding to move to the schemes we visited and 2 others in the pipeline meaning that we are able to offer families on the housing waiting list a much needed home.

David Leach, Director of Old Oak, said: “We saw this as an opportunity for our older residents to really discover what sheltered accommodation is and to dispel some of the myths that linger around. Residents have enjoyed the opportunity to think about their future needs and this is beneficial to the residents, to us and to those families in desperate need of a family home.”