FACE: Furzedown friends & neighbours supporting local causes affecting those close to us...
Over the last few years (even during Covid), FACE has hosted charity events to raise awareness and support for local causes affecting those close to us. The money raised has made a huge difference:
St George's has opened a dedicated space for young people with cancer, which is equipped with items to make their stay less stressful and isolating and has just appointed a specialist nurse. MNDA has provided therapists, specialist equipment and grants to families in South London. We have also raised the money to provide The Furzedown Project with a defibrillator, a media centre and are sponsoring their minibus. We have recently started supporting a new after school drop-in initiative at The Furzedown Youth Group and creating urban gardens for local children. We have also helped many other local causes.
Face up to the challenge of Motor Neurone Disease...
Our neighbour Gareth was told in 2010 that he had Motor Neurone Disease. Sadly, he passed away in March 2012.
MND is a progressive disease that causes increasing loss of mobility and difficulties with speech, swallowing and breathing. As a father with three young children he found the charity Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) incredibly supportive and vital in helping him and his family through difficult and challenging times. Gareth was central in inspiring Furzedown FACE to continue raising the funds to help the South London branch of MNDA provide grants and equipment to support other local families living with MND.
This year we were asked to fund a special wheelchair scale to facilitate vital research in Kings College Hospital. There are also many every-day objects to help make lives easier, from eating utensils to voice simulators, that urgently need funding - especially in this crisis when people have been left so isolated.
Read their recent letter HERE
Creating urban gardens for local children and planting green spaces across Furzedown
We have been helping keep Furzedown green and beautiful by supporting gardening projects in local schools and Furzedown guerrilla gardeners.
Children enjoy growing flowers, fresh fruit and vegetables - it's a fun and delicious way to learn about healthy eating and where food comes from! In 2021 we helped Penworthan Junior School create an Urban Garden.
Stuart, our green-fingered hero who leads the plant sales, designed and hand-made five fantastic wooden planters to enhance the bare playground of Faylands Children's Centre, a local child care facility, so now toddlers and their families can grow fruit and vegetables. We also provided two metal planters and other garden essentials. Thanks to Sarah Forrester who initiated this project and all the staff and children who are looking after the garden with such enthusiasm!
In 2022 we will be supporting Furzedown guerrilla gardeners who will be tackling the roundabout and area at the top of Church Lane. Although this project has no official clearance with Wandsworth Council, they are happy to turn a blind eye and will respect the planting areas.
We are also supporting The Women's Garden Project which helped refugee women in Tooting Community Garden. Read more about it HERE
For over 40 years The Furzedown Project on Moyser Road has been there for our older neighbours.
Helping to overcome social isolation amongst older people by providing a meeting place and lots of activities like swimming, crafts and yoga. As well as befriending the housebound, home visits, assisted transport and day trips out. Supporting local people between 50 and 95+ the Project is open 10am - 4pm weekdays, with lots of volunteers.
We have recently sponsored The Furzedown Project minibus - This local transport is supported by volunteer drivers and is a vital resource for Project members with mobility problems and this will ensure they can continue coming to Project social groups, events and classes. In the near future the minibus will need replacing with an electric vehicle and we will be helping to promote and fundraise for this vital resource.
We have also provided a defibrillator which is situated at the Project reception desk and is a great asset for the whole community! Also we're keeping their website updated, given IT support and funded a media centre. During Covid we provided a set of chairs that could be easily cleaned for safety.
Supporting local young people by helping The Furzedown Youth Centre - VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!
Furzedown Youth Centre (the FYC) welcomes all young people irregardless of race, gender, culture, sexuality or religion and is a safe, secure place where kids between the ages of 10 to 16 can meet after school, enjoy different activities and develop socially and emotionally.
It is currently only open on Fridays but would like to offer more. Recently it has been very concerned with the rise in increasing levels of drug and gang related crime, including knife crime in the area, and want to improve their response by opening the Drop In centre on as many after-school evenings as they can. They will be employing a Youth Outreach Worker soon and urgently need volunteers (DBS Checks provided) and people who could do Workshops in Art, Music, Cooking etc.
FACE are providing funds to help help them including art supplies, activities - including a very popular Playstation - and paid for a special first-aid training course, plus other items that will help encourage attendance and keep the centre looking good!
To findout more about being a volunteer, doing a Workshop or think you can help in any way - please contact the FYC manager Paul Rook email@example.com
Helping teenagers with cancer in St George's Hospital...
Local schoolgirl Clare was diagnosed with cancer when she was just 16. St George's Hospital provides world-class treatment so she has recovered well and is getting on with her life, but her time in hospital was marred by the fact there are no wards or facilities for teenagers which meant she had to go on an adult ward. She had no one to talk to and nothing to do, she felt isolated, scared and lonely.
By providing dedicated staff and a room with resources like computers, ipods or a games library we will be helping teenagers undergoing treatment in St George's Hospital, keep in touch with their friends, study and relax, which will help improve their time in hospital.
Over the last 5 years we've raised over £20,000 to help open this much needed resource which has just opened in St George's Hospital.
Teenage Cancer Trust has funded specialist design company Grosvenor Interiors and MacMillan Nurses have appointed a specialist nurse. We are continuing to provide support, including enabling the young people to attend social events.
We are also supporting special initiatives in the local Furzedown area or charities which benefit local people.
The Little Village - a ‘baby bank’ providing essentials for new mothers which was started by local mothers in 2016 and now operates across London, their headquarters are in 144 Tooting High Street.
We have provided the funds to enable the local branch of The Multiple Sclerosis Society to run a special Yoga classes- low impact exercise is an important way of controlling and managing the symptoms of MS.
We continue to support the FurzedownFoodbank at St Paul's Church, to help local families in need.
We have sponsored a community cookery project CooksForce from Graveney Village Network at The Graveney Canteen in Tooting. And Teens Unite Fighting Cancer, a national charity which is dedicated to improving the lives of young people aged 13-24, with cancer and other life limiting illnesses. Local Furzedown teenagers have benefited from their fun days out - including concerts, football matches, art and beauty workshops. “To help young people build on their self esteem, self confidence and to reduce the feeling of isolation, realising that others are facing similar challenges” www.teensunitefightingcancer.org
WASA is a Wandsworth club that teaches disabled children to swim has been providing fantastic support for local Furzedown children - so FACE have paid for 4 volunteers' training courses and hope to be be funding more. Children who have disabilities like sight loss or physical impairment, enjoy learning to swim in the safe, supportive environment that WASA’s Disability Swimming Club provides. The level 2 training course has given the volunteers an opportunity to develop new skills and knowledge and therefore have a positive impact on all the children who attend.
Lovely film of them in action here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AB5vBydj8ls