A round up of 2023

6 months ago

As January 2024 gets under way, let’s take a quick look back and see what happened at Sands End Arts & Community Centre, a charity that aims to enrich the quality of life of the whole community in and around Fulham, in 2023. 

In January we launched a warm hub in collaboration with Hammersmith & Fulham Council for members of the local community to meet one another, receive a free hot meal in and take advantage of the books, games and table tennis materials we have here at SEACC. We also held our first ever exhibition in the Lodge, featuring work by young, talented, local photographer Alfie Fisher. 

In February we hosted the wonderful Paddington Trio who provided a free evening of chamber music, with guests receiving a complimentary drink before being treated to repertoire from Haydn, Shostakovich and Arvo Paart, and this was following by a piano recital by Fulham local Tyler Dillard in March as he prepared to compete in the 31st International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs in Paris. March also saw us host our first Fulham Social & Network evening with Melinda Shelbourne from Urban Village LDN. The event was a great success, with over 160 registrations.  

In April SEACC was fortunate enough to host BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions?, which was broadcast live from our Main Hall on Good Friday. Hosted by Ben Wright, the panel comprised journalist and commentator Inaya Folarin Iman, Emily Thornberry MP, Laura Trott MP and Munira Wilson MP and the lively discussion was watched by 150 local residents. We also launched our free table tennis coaching sessions for over 60’s in partnership with London Borough Hammersmith & Fulham, which continues to be a successful class enjoyed by many.   

May saw the Coronation of the King Charles III and we celebrated the Coronation in style in both the Walnut Tree Café and the Main Hall. People joined us to watch the ceremony together on our TV and this was followed by a free afternoon tea in the Main Hall for over 70 visitors. The event was one of many events throughout the year that was organised by SEACC as part of our charitable mission of bringing members of the community together, and was made possible by donations from Bridge Baker, Chanteroy, PAUL Bakery and Waitrose Parson’s Green. We were delighted to work with our neighbours to be able to provide a fantastic free event for the community and look forward to doing more of this in 2024.  

And we didn’t stop there! As part of the Mayor’s Weekend in June we worked in partnership with London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and Friends of South Park to host ‘The Big Weekend’. An epic weekend of free activity for all the family, activities included a football tournament from Jolof Sports, cricket taster sessions from Fulham Cricket Club, fun runs from SEACC residents Lyceum Fit and dance classes from SEACC resident DanceWest, along with live music and food and drink.  

In July we hosted an exhibition from the multi-talented Marinella Pashova, a London-based visual artist and Jazz & Latin singer, which was accompanied by a free musical showcase performance by Pashova, and we continued with our commitment to providing free, excellent classical music at SEACC in August by hosting the rising star Elia Martins Alexandre and his band, the Elia Do Mar Trio.  

We rounded off the summer with the Sherry Music Summer Twilight Music Festival that took place in the first weekend of September. Featuring a range of Masterclasses, music performances and community workshops, this free and low-cost activity provided by Sherry Shen was a fabulous free event for all of the community. In September we also launched the Sands End Young Peoples Anthology 2023, a wonderful writing project for young people delivering in partnership with Write London and funded by Tideway. September and October also saw us host free visual art exhibitions from Polina Tyan, which included an opening night event featuring music, drinks and an opportunity to meet Tyan, and The Society of Fulham Artists and Potters (SOFAP). We also hosted an incredible community event that was organised by our very own Camille Holder – an opportunity for everyone to get a glimpse into a visually impaired person’s life and a showcase of the support available to the visually impaired and their families.  

In November we were fortunate enough to receive funding from London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham’s King Charles Coronation Fund to refurbish the basketball courts in South Park and to develop our own music programme and studio – two projects we are looking forward to launching in 2024. We also partnered with LBHF to host an inspiring exhibition of work created by survivors of domestic abuse as part of the councils 16 days of activism against violence towards women and girls, featuring a poetry reading from artist Amja Lee, and we backed LBHF’s bid to be London Borough of Culture 2025, hosting a wonderful bid launch event with performances from local young people, Hammersmith and Fulham resident Colin Salmon’s steel pan band and Turtle Key Arts, amongst others.  

And then finally to December, with our range of family Christmas activities including a Santa’s Grotto, Christmas craft and card making sessions and our inaugural Community Christmas Meal, where locals were able to enjoy a 3 course Christmas dinner with one another for only £3 – another charitable event provided by SEACC for our local community.  

Recently appointed SEACC Director, Nina von der Werth, who joined the Centre in November taking over from outgoing CEO Chris Newport says: “Looking back over 2023 it is amazing to see the range of activity that SEACC already has to offer. We are looking forward to doing even more in 2024, with a renewed commitment to providing community and arts activities for and with our wonderful neighbours”.  

Wishing you all a Happy New Year and looking forward to a bright and busy 2024!