Charities

We give time, energy and money to help good causes here and overseas.

St Michael and All Angels Church and members of its congregation support three chosen charities, each for a period of three years – by raising money, volunteering and promoting their causes. In 2022, the charities are The Upper RoomWest London Welcome  and our new overseas charity, Swinfen Telemedicine. We are also supporting DABAL (Deaf And Blind Aid Lanka) as our Lent charity this year (fundraising Lent Lunch above). Read more about them all below.

We are also actively involved in measures to help Ukraine.

1. Financial support:

Several organisations, and the governments of countries bordering Ukraine have confirmed that financial support is much more valuable than collections of physical goods, due to the challenges of distribution in the region.

The Diocese of Europe and United Society Partners have launched a joint Ukraine Emergency Appeal.
Or you can donate via The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC): Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

2. Prepare to welcome those from Ukraine:

Individuals, charities, community groups and businesses can volunteer accommodation and provide a route to safety for Ukrainians and their immediate family members.  See details of the government scheme:
Homes for Ukraine – Local Sponsorship Scheme for Ukraine

3. More ways through the Ukrainian Institute in London:

Russia’s war against Ukraine. What can you do to support Ukraine & Ukrainians?

These are our 2022 charities:

The Upper Room is a front-line charity working with socially and economically disadvantaged people in West London. They work with people who are experiencing homelessness – including those at risk of homelessness. Providing 26,000 meals a year, as well as clothing and toiletries, the Upper Room offers a safe and warm environment in the short-term, while providing support to help people rebuild their lives in the long-term. In 2020 and 2021, we hosted The Upper Room Spring Lectures in St Michael & All Angels Church – last year with Clare Balding, Michael Frayn (photos below) and Jeremy Paxman, interviewed by Torin Douglas. Read more, watch them and donate here.

West London Welcome is a free drop-in centre for refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants who have settled in West London and the wider London area, providing them with the access to the services and support they need to lead full lives within their local community. Above all it is a place of welcome and acceptance for families and individuals. As well as raising money for them, we have pledged to find volunteers to help their work over the next three years and have helped them set up a Chiswick support group which hosts a weekly community gathering (photo, left at the Chiswick House Kitchen Garden). Read about their new community centre and other news in their Autumn 2021 newsletter.

In 2021, we supported them through our Lent Charities Appeal on our Virgin Money Giving page, and the Bedford Park Festival, and the Christmas Charity Appeal. All donations and Gift Aid received as part of these campaigns, whether online or directly at St Michael’s, are divided equally between the three charities. Thank you for your support.

 

Following a process conducted by its Charities Group, the PCC has recently approved two charities for future funding after nominations from members of the congregation. Andrew Mitchell, the new chair of the Charities Group, writes:

  • Swinfen Telemedicine (Swinfen Charitable Trust) has replaced Water Harvest as our overseas charity and one of our three principal charity partners. It facilitates access to specialist medical expertise for doctors and nurses working in remote regions of the world. On a pro bono basis and using virtual technologies, the disciplinary experts are able to advise those on the ground on treatment options for any health issues needing further specialist knowledge. Our funding, over three years,  will allow Swinfen to upgrade its App and maintain its technology platforms, facilitating broader reach and more effective (and reliable) communications with medics on the front line. Read more: Our new charity: Swinfen Telemedicine.                                         .
  • A second charity, DABAL (Deaf And Blind Aid Lanka), which will be the beneficiary of a one-off appeal, funds schools for the deaf and blind in Sri Lanka.  Run from the UK, with a volunteer in Sri Lanka, DABAL funds three schools a year currently. The schools support some of the most impoverished children in Sri Lanka, all of whom have very special needs. The Sri Lankan government provides only very limited support and, currently, the country is facing severe economic difficulties. These schools desperately need our help and we hope with our appeal to move the dial in terms of the number of grants DABAL can make in any given year.

Many thanks to John Clark and the Charities’ Group for their hard work in the selection process and we look forward to engaging with as many of the St Michael’s community as possible in supporting Swinfen and DABAL going forward. Finally, we wish Water Harvest every success for the future.

The charities group co-ordinates our giving at St Michael’s throughout the year.

In normal times, these include the Charities Quiz Night in February; the Lent Appeal (including Lent lunches); Christian Aid Week in May; the Bedford Park Festival in June, including the charities stall on Green Days (the WaterHarvest team with cross-channel swimmer Mark Critchlow, above); Charities Sunday; and our Christmas Charity Appeal, with carol-singing at Turnham Green tube station. We get great support for our charities from local businesses, who sponsor the Bedford Park Festival and provide matched-funding, and in particular Bown Design & Build, who for several years organised an annual concert for our charities. We also support charities through Christian Aid Week in May, the Chiswick Book Festival in September and the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal in November. We have also done so through our Cards for Good Causes shop in the run-up to Christmas but CFCG are no longer supporting a shop in Chiswick.

In 2021, we raised over £20,000 for charities – and unlocked more for them in matched funding. Read more here
In 2020, we raised over £18,600 Read more here
In 2019, unhampered by the pandemic, we raised over £41,000. Read more here.

If you would like to find out more about how get involved, please contact the charities group via the Parish Office.