Winners of GlaxoSmithKline charity grants announced

Open House Café, St Paul’s Centre is a winner

Sign up for our free newsletter

Comment on this story on the

A café that serves low-cost healthy meals and is run with the support of dozens of volunteers is set to scoop a cash award.

The Open House Café, in the St Paul’s Centre, Brentford, offers a befriending service for its customers and helpers, of whom about 80 per cent are elderly, socially isolated or vulnerable.

The eatery is one of five charities that will share £25,000 in grants from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

They will be honoured for the impact they have made on the health of people living in Hounslow at a ceremony at GSK House, in Brentford, on November 5.

Denise Colliver, project manager at the Open House Café, said: ”This award will give us breathing space to keep on going and make a huge difference to us. The recognition GlaxoSmithKline has given us is brilliant and really will help us.”

Many of the volunteers have mental health problems and are referred to the charity from other organisations who believe Open House will help develop their skills and move them into paid employment.

The café encourages friendships which reduce social isolation, as many visitors go there daily for their main meal.

It is also a child friendly environment where parents and carers can meet together with their youngsters, and the listening and befriending service Open Ears offers social and emotional support.

The charity said it will use the money towards its main costs, including volunteers’ meals and expenses, making the café’s future more sustainable.

It also plans to employ a volunteer training manager who will recruit, induct and train the helpers, giving more structure to their work.

Ann Keen, MP for Brentford and Isleworth, was one of six judges of the GlaxoSmithKline local health awards, which will also see Bereavement Services for Hounslow, Diabetes UK Hounslow Voluntary Group, Hounslow Extra Club and Visually Impaired Children picking up their share of the grant.

She said: “The money that GlaxoSmithKline has donated will hopefully go a long way in progressing the work of the chosen organisations.”

Awards also went to:
Hounslow Extra Club, which encourages leisure and social opportunities for 11 to 25-year-olds with special needs.
Diabetes UK Hounslow Voluntary Group which has 40 volunteers, promotes awareness of diabetes and supports diagnosed patients.
Visually Impaired Children, which provides support to youngsters and families affected by blindness. The charity organises events and activities such as picnics, safari trips and bowling for the 117 families who are members.
Bereavement Services for Hounslow, which provides support and counselling for those suffering from the death of a loved one.

Article taken from the Richmond and Twickenham Times

October 19, 2009

Bookmark and Share