January 15, 2024
A woman who has service as the chair of the management committee of a Hammersmith community centre has been awarded in MBE.
67-year-old Vivienne Wood was recognised for her work at the Grove Neighbourhood Centre in the King’s New Year’s honours list.
For the past decade she has worked tirelessly for the centre including through the challenge times of the pandemic when a fundraising drive she organised secured the centre’s future.
Vivienne, lives in Stowe Road, Shepherd’s Bush, a 10-minute stroll from the centre in Brackenbury Village.
On hearing of the award she said, “It means a great deal. I feel honoured, and a little bit embarrassed.”
Staff at the centre only found out about the award when they returned to work after the holiday and they described her her as “the glue that keeps the place together”.
She moved to the area in 1990 and began her association with the centre as a volunteer cook. Then she joined the management committee in 2010 and was swiftly voted chairman. “I do feel passionately about the centre,” she said. “We serve a diverse community, and a lot of our users are isolated.”
During the Covid pandemic Vivienne – who is married with two grown-up daughters – help raise funds to keep the centre afloat via gifts, grants and donations.
The centre was set up in 1973 in the former Grove ward (hence the name), starting life in an old prefab building. After that was knocked down in 1982, today’s purpose-built community centre was created
H&F Leader Stephen Cowan praised Vivienne for her work and dedication by saying: “I’m delighted Vivienne Wood has been recognised with an MBE. Vivienne is one of those people that make our world a much better place.
“From starting as a volunteer cook, to chairing the Grove Neighbourhood Centre since 2011, Vivienne and the team have consistently acted to tackle isolation, bring people together, and add a little happiness into people’s everyday lives. Vivienne Wood is a quiet hero who has strengthened our community and enriched the life of lots of local people. This award is so well deserved. I am extremely grateful to Vivienne for her inspiring work and commitment to others.”
Hammersmith & Fulham Council provides support to the centre, which includes a drop-in advice service, giving it a grant in 1994 to allow it to build a second storey and broaden the range of activities. The following year that extension won a design award from the Hammersmith Society.
Its two halls and three smaller meeting rooms are hired out at affordable rates to community groups and organisations, with activities including yoga, keep fit, art classes, dancing, toddlers, and as a surgery centre for the area’s councillors.
The most popular event is the Friday lunch club – it not only gives attendees a hot meal, but also provides important social contact for the area’s residents. The youngest lunch club regular is 75.
Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More
This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.
Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.
We’ve always done that and won’t be changing, in fact we’d like to do more.
However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.
We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.
A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.
One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.
If you do support us in this way we’d be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.
For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you’d like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.