The Richmond Charities' Indian Summer Party at Church Estate Almshouses

A wonderful time was had by all at the Indian Summer party that was held at Church Estate. The residents enjoyed authentic Indian Cuisine accompanied by Indian beer and prosecco. A jazz band played in the background and the weather couldn't have been better!

Photos of residents enjoying The Richmond Charities' Indian Summer Party held at Church Estate
Photos of residents enjoying The Richmond Charities' Indian Summer Party held at Church Estate
Photos of residents enjoying The Richmond Charities' Indian Summer Party held at Church Estate


The Richmond Charities' Thanksgiving Service - Sunshine (just) and celebration

The first Sunday of July saw one of our annual celebrations at The Richmond Charities. Each year we gather to remember and give thanks for the founders and benefactors of the Almshouses and Charitable Foundations that now make up The Richmond Charities, and to celebrate our life together today. It was touch and go when Gerry put the gazebos up on a rainy Friday afternoon, but by Sunday the clouds were blowing over and the sun was promising to smile on us. The service included some traditional and contemporary music sung by the choir from St Mary Abbots and poems and readings delivered by residents and trustees. Eve Harbud observed how special it was to have an event that brought so many different people together from across the almshouses. She was left, she said, with a renewed appreciation for the charity and the people she lives amongst. And she did mention that the wine afterwards was rather good, too... Suszie Vignoles thought it was a lovely event, with music and readings working together to give the whole afternoon a true community feel that focussed us all around the theme of friendship. 'Postive! Summer-filled! Uplifting!' Thanks to Debbie and her husband Pete for keeping us well-supplied with drinks and snacks.

Photos of residents enjoying The Richmond Charities' annual service of Thanksgiving held in the Chapel at Hickey's Almshouses
Photos of residents enjoying The Richmond Charities' annual service of Thanksgiving held in the Chapel at Hickey's Almshouses
Photos of residents enjoying The Richmond Charities' annual service of Thanksgiving held in the Chapel at Hickey's Almshouses

To see all available images click an image for the full gallery


The Richmond Charities' Afternoon tea with bubbles in the award-winning garden at Michel's Almshouses

The residents of Michel's, Bishop Duppas, Queen Elizabeth's and Candler's Almshouses all got together on Wednesday 10 July to enjoy afternoon tea and prosecco. The tables were filled with finger sandwiches, savouries and of course cream cakes and mini fruit tartlets all washed down with tea and several bottles of ice-cold prosecco. To quote our Chief Executive, Juliet Ames-Lewis,

"The icing on the cake"

was having Peter Cogavin and his wonderful music which everyone enjoyed.

Photos of The Richmond Charities' Afternoon tea with bubbles in the award-winning garden at Michel's Almshouses
Photos of The Richmond Charities' Afternoon tea with bubbles in the award-winning garden at Michel's Almshouses
Photos of The Richmond Charities' Afternoon tea with bubbles in the award-winning garden at Michel's Almshouses


The Richmond Charities' 'Out & About with my Freedom Pass' Group

Photos of residents enjoying recent Out & About trips in LondonThe 'Out & About' Group has enjoyed recent trips, in London, to the Natural History Museum, Kenwood House and Gardens and The Guildhall Yard.

The Richmond Charities' Ukelele Concert given by The Avenukes

On Friday 14th June we were treated to a Ukulele concert in our beautiful chapel at Hickey's Almshouses.
The performers "The Avenukes" are a group of players from The Avenue Club (a local social club) based in Kew.
The performers turned up brightly dressed and had a variety of assorted coloured Ukuleles and played all the old popular songs so the residents could sing along.
It was a fun and very enjoyable afternoon and after the show light refreshments were served.
We would gladly invite them back as everyone who attended really enjoyed the performance and a few went off humming some of the tunes!

Photo of The Avenukes Ukelele Concert
Photo of The Avenukes Ukelele Concert
Photo of The Avenukes Ukelele Concert
Photo of The Avenukes Ukelele Concert


The Richmond Charities' Residents' Day Trip to Southend-on-Sea

On 12 June residents of The Richmond Charities went on the annual day trip to Southend-on-Sea. Despite the rain everyone really enjoyed themselves. Many residents headed straight for the fish and chips when we arrived! Residents also enjoyed the train ride along the pier. There were lots of good shops for people to look around and time for ice-creams before heading home.

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The Richmond Charities' Autobiography Group

'It may be a small life; we may not have done anything particularly great or inspiring, but our memories make us what we are and those who love us are interested in that.'

Photo of The Richmond Charities Autobiography Group sharing memories and experiencesOne of the great gifts of age and maturity is that it can give us a new, and sometimes surprising, perspective on our own lives. Like fine wines, our memories can change and deepen as time passes and we feel differently about things at different points in our lives. Over the past several years we have run an Autobiography Group at the almshouses. We use a series of guided exercises that can help anyone organise and write down their experiences and share them in a group with others on the same journey. The method is particularly helpful for those who like the idea of writing their own story for family or friends (or simply for themselves) but don't know where to begin.

By the end of the course of 10 weeks, participants will have a 'collage' of their life experiences which, if they want to, they can further work on to turn into a more polished autobiography. However, many feel that going through this process together is almost more important than worrying about any finished product. Residents have found the experience helps them to celebrate the great joys of their lives and come to a new relationship with more troubling experiences.

Our new autobiography group is now in full swing and it feels like a warm and supportive environment in which to do this work together. Tears and laughter are regularly found hand in hand.

As a previous participant wrote, 'Realistically I know that never again am I going to climb a mountain in the Lake District or dance the night away, but I did it once and have the memories - and I can do it in my head whenever I want to!'


The Richmond Charities’ Bridge Club

The Bridge Club meets twice a week in our communal room and is open to everyone from beginners to experts. The club is run by residents for residents and is informal and fun with the emphasis on socializing – plenty of tea and biscuits! New members are very welcome.

Photos of  Bridge Club hosted by The Richmond Charities
Photos of  Bridge Club hosted by The Richmond Charities
Photos of  Bridge Club hosted by The Richmond Charities


The Richmond Charities' Residents' visit and lunch at Lynde House

Lynde House Care Home in Twickenham kindly invited 20 residents along for lunch on 24th April. We were greeted with a glass of sherry followed by a three course lunch with wine and then coffee and mints to end. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Alison McIntosh, the manager, and all her team including the chef made us all feel very welcome and following lunch we were free to wander around the beautiful gardens. Alison has invited residents to join them any Wednesday for a complimentary lunch. If you would like to take them up on that generous offer please call Lynde House on 0208 892 4772 giving them a few days' notice so they know to expect you.

The Richmond Charities' Residents' visit and lunch at Lynde House
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To see all available images click an image for the full gallery


The Richmond Charities' Shakespeare's Postbag

In 'Shakespeare's Postbag' a delightful and professional ensemble piece was performed by Richard Howard (Candler Almshouses) and three fellow thespians. Ancient Rome, medieval Verona, mystical Illyria and the bleak Cambridgeshire castle of a dying and much wronged queen were amongst places visited to witness the effect of such missives. The tragedies, the comedies and the histories were included in the one-hour performance. Everyone enjoyed a glass or two of wine and some nibbles afterwards.

Richmond Charities Shakespeares Postbag 1
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The Richmond Charities' Bingo afternoons

Our monthly Bingo sessions are held in our beautiful Chapel in the grounds of Hickey's Almshouses.  In 2019 Bingo takes place on Wednesdays on the following dates:

  • 3rd April
  • 1st May
  • 12th June
  • 3rd July
  • 14th August
  • 11th September
  • 2nd October
  • 13th November
  • 11th December

It only costs £1.00 to join in and this includes tea & biscuits as well as prizes and jackpot!  This is a very sociable group and is run by one of our almshouse residents.  Do come along and join in!


The Richmond Charities' Shrove Tuesday Pancake morning

Shrove Tuesday smallResidents who attended the weekly drop in on Shrove Tuesday enjoyed pancakes. The residents were given a variety of fillings to choose from which included strawberries, bananas, chocolate, maple syrup and of course the traditional lemon and sugar, all of which went down a treat!

The Richmond Charities' Shakespeare's Postbag

ShakespeareWilliam Shakespeare comes to the Chapel of St. Francis on Wednesday 27 March at 6pm. We present: SHAKESPEARE'S POSTBAG.

An hour of entertainment followed by drinks. SHAKESPEARE'S POSTBAG, a selection of momentous letters sent and received by Shakespeare's immortal characters, was first performed at the Henley Literary Festival in 2016, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death. It was seen again last year at the Garrick Club in London. The cast includes Jeremy Child (Judge John Deed, The Madness of George III), Richard Howard (Shakespeare in Love, Jane Eyre), Sally Nesbitt (RSC, The Avengers), Emily Raymond (RSC, Pop-up Shakespeare 2018), Tam Williams (RSC, The Lottery of Love at the Orange Tree, Richmond).


The Richmond Charities' Craft Group

The Richmond Charities craft club have worked hard for the last three months having such fun creating the wonderful yarn bomb that is now on display at Hickey's Almshouses. It will hang for one month and will brighten the trees before they bloom again. It will hopefully be a talking point and bring joy to the wintery month ahead. A huge THANK YOU to all those in the craft club for all the hard work, creativity and love that they have put into this lovely piece of art. The craft club would love to welcome new members so if you are free on a Wednesday morning at 10am please pop along.

Yarn Bombing 1
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The Richmond Charities' Stories for the Soul

Stories for the Soul 2Stories for the Soul is an opportunity to nurture our spiritual well-being. Each week we create a unique community around the table where we can be ourselves and our story is valued. Our feelings, our search for meaning and purpose, our sense of awe and wonder, our creativity, beliefs and relationships are welcomed, affirmed and cherished. We hope that this special atmosphere will be carried into the wider community of The Richmond Charities.

Beginning on 13th March at 10am and, weekly throughout the period of Lent 2019, we will be sharing some Stories for the Soul in The Green Room. Each session follows a simple and familiar pattern. We meet informally and ensure everyone is welcomed before sharing a story from the Jewish or Christian scriptures using some carefully made and beautiful materials.

Stories for the Soul 1

 There is then an opportunity to share any thoughts or questions that the story has inspired. This is a time for listening to one another - there are no 'right' answers and each of us is invited to find our own meaning in the story. A period of free response follows where we can pursue our own wondering. Some people engage in creative work with the materials provided, others may choose to work with the materials from the story itself or simply enjoy some quiet time. Finally, we share a simple 'feast' together and enjoy one another's company.

In this course of stories we will be especially focussing on the Parables of Jesus. Often taught as simple moral messages, the Parables can be far more unsettling. They challenge us to imagine a very different world, turned upside down and inside out.


The Richmond Charities' Residents' Drop-in mornings

Residents' Drop-in Mornings

We hold this event every Tuesday in our communal space called The Green Room. It's an informal morning where residents can socialise with a cuppa and biscuits. There are plenty of board games, puzzles and cards for spirited competition! The Green Room has a fully equipped kitchen so can be used for a wide variety of social events.




The Richmond Charities’ Film Club

Film Club Leaflet


The film club was set up a few years ago by the residents of The Richmond Charities. Residents meet in the Chapel twice a month to watch a film that has been chosen by the committee from the list of DVDs that are available to them.


This month residents can enjoy “Mamma Mia! Here we go again”, a comedy starring Meryl Streep, and “Zulu”, a drama based on the battle at Rorke’s Drift. Once again it’s a chance for residents to get together and enjoy each other’s company with a nice cup of tea during the interval.


pdfDownload the revised February 2019 Film Leaflet

The Richmond Charities' Strength and Balance classes

The Richmond Charities started these specialised classes in May 2017 in response to some residents who wished to attend a gentle exercise class which would offer strengthening of muscles to help with balance and mobility. This in turn helps build confidence, especially if someone has experienced a fall in the past. Gill Williams, the teacher who runs these sessions, is highly qualified in this field as she has worked with the Richmond Falls Prevention team for a number of years. The residents that take part also have fun and it helps with socialising which helps combat isolation.

The classes run on Fridays from 2pm - 3pm in the Chapel at Hickey's Almshouses. All are welcome!



The Richmond Charities' Almshouse Book Club

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

The Almshouse book club was set up following suggestions from residents. Members meet once a month where they discuss and compile a list of possible books that they would like to read the following month. The group also have a discussion about the book they have read in the previous month over a cup of tea. One of the books that was read recently was 'Still Alice' by Lisa Genova. This book created a lively review meeting where most people said they enjoyed the book although they said it was a worrying and close to home subject, as it was about Alzheimer's disease. One member found it badly written and a 'band-wagon' book but they all had plenty to say. Members scored the book between 0-7 out of 10.

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison is the book that is currently being read by the Almshouse book club. This is Ralph Ellison's first novel. It was published in 1952 when American society was on the cusp of immense change. Invisible Man is the story of a young black man from the South who does not fully understand racism in the world. He encounters many people and situations that slowly force him to face the truth about racism and his own identity.

The book club is open to all Almshouse residents, even those who are unable to attend the meetings. These residents can have a book delivered to them so they are still able to actively participate as they can write a review of the book and send it to the meeting for the other members to read and discuss.

Residents' Christmas Lunch

On 14 December 2018 The Richmond Charities hosted lunch for 120 residents, trustees and staff at the Richmond Hill Hotel. A fabulous time was had by all, with fantastic food, service and a wonderful atmosphere. Everyone enjoyed the festive quiz, raffle and excellent cracker jokes!

Richmond Charities Christmas dinner 2018 CR 1382
Richmond Charities Christmas dinner 2018 CR 1485
Richmond Charities Christmas dinner 2018 CR 1500
Richmond Charities Christmas dinner 2018 CR 1513


O come all ye faithful – Carol Singing at Michel’s Almshouses, The Richmond Charities

Almshouse residents, staff, trustees and visitors enjoyed an afternoon of festive music, mulled wine and mince pies on Sunday 9 December at Michel’s Almshouses. The choir from St Mary Magdalene’s Church, Richmond came to the almshouses to sing carols around the Christmas tree with audience participation! A great time was had by all 60 people attending, which included residents from many of The Richmond Charities’ other almshouse estates across Richmond and Twickenham.

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Advent Carols - Sunday, 2nd December, 5pm (Chapel of St Francis)

Join us in the Chapel of St Francis, Hickey’s Almshouses on Advent Sunday for Evening Prayer with Advent Carols, music and a seasonal reflection as we begin to prepare for the Mystery of Christmas.

Warm Clothing Collection for the Vineyard Project & Donations for Richmond Foodbank

Vineyard Project logo 2 Almshouse residents have always been very generous in supporting the warm clothing collections for the Vineyard project and donations for the Richmond Foodbank and helping people in ned during the cold winter months. Homeless men and women in our borough are in desperate need of warm clothing - hats, gloves, scarves, socks, underwear, jumpers, trousers, coats and jackets are all needed.


Richmond Foodbank logoThe Foodbank is also always in need of donations to help feed the poorest of families and individuals within the borough. They have asked specifically for: UHT milk, fruit juice, packets of mashed potato, breakfast cereal, puddings, tinned fruit veg or meat, tea bags, toothpaste, shower gel, shampoo, ladies hygiene items. 


Services on Remembrance Sunday

On Remembrance Sunday, 11 November, we held two moving services in our Chapel at Hickey’s Almshouses. The morning service marked the 100th anniversary since the end of World War I and the evening’s memorial service was a chance to remember and give thanks for those in our community who have recently died.


Official opening of Manning Place Almshouses

Official opening of Manning Place Almshouses, Richmond

The official opening of Manning Place took place on 13th September 2018. The weather was very kind to us and the opening was very well attended. The Mayor of Richmond Cllr Ben Khosa performed the “cutting of the ribbon” and welcomed the 12 new residents. The Mayor made a speech and talked about the charity’s long history of providing almshouse accommodation and praised the charity for continuing to look for ways in which it can expand and house more residents.

Some residents opened up their new almshouses so that guests could look around and everyone was very impressed with the quality of the new almshouses and the refurbishment that has been undertaken. As the Mayor said, although most almshouses are traditional cottages, what Manning Place shows is what a modern almshouse looks like, complete with aids and adaptations to assist residents as they grow older.

Refreshments were served courtesy of Debbie, Jo and Alison, and a pleasant time was had by all those who attended.

Results of the 2018 Richmond in Bloom competition

Winners of the 2018 Richmond in Bloom comp[etition

We had some fantastic results in the 2018 Richmond in Bloom competition.  Congratulations to Bishop Duppa’s, the residents and our gardeners at BD, Stephen Charles, for being the overall winner in the Community Building category. Bishop Duppa’s has received a special plaque which will have pride of place on the wall at the almshouses!

In the same category, Michel’s Almshouses and Houblon’s Almshouses won Gold, and Church Estate and Queen Elizabeth’s Almshouses won Silver Gilt.

In the Residential frontage category, Margaret Payler and Jean Newport at Michel’s won a Gold award and Joy Sayles at Michel’s, Rita Compton and John Coles at Church Estate and Beryl Read at Hickey’s won Silver Gilt. A Silver award was won by Michael Brien, Barbara Costanzo, Lisa Blakemore, Betty Johnson and Terri Ekkel at Bishop Duppa’s and Michael Hobbs and Richard Yardley at Hickey’s. Our Scheme Manager, Linda, attended the prize giving ceremony along with Michael Hobbs, Richard Yardley and John Coles and they collected all the prizes.  Congratulations to everyone!

Nordic Walking for Almshouse Residents

Nordic Walking for Almshouse Residents

I joined the Nordic Walking group at Hickey’s in September and was greeted by Rosie, our instructor, who explained why/how it was developed. She explained how when done correctly it improves core strength, posture and balance. This is achieved by walking with head up and shoulders relaxed, straight arm swing with a rolling heel/toe foot action. So much to think about but good for developing both sides of the brain, according to Rosie! The poles when used correctly develop arm strength.

After the second week, remembering head up, shoulders down, rolling feet I knew my posture had improved!! While chatting with others in the group it was clear that people had noticed an improvement in their posture and balance and all felt better for the exercise and being in the fresh air.

We are going to continue and hopefully go for longer walks in Richmond Park. I would highly recommend this form of exercise, even without poles. New friends, laughs and exercise with a lovely tutor, come and give it a try.

New Craft Club started!

Residents are running a new craft club on Wednesday mornings in The Green Room at Hickey’s – all welcome!

The club runs on Wednesday mornings 10 – Noon.