HANDS offers friendly, practical support to anyone in need in Twickenham and St Margaret’s, especially older people and those who are isolated. Our aim is to improve quality of life and help maintain cherished independence. HANDS is a registered charity, governed by a Board of Trustees. It is non-political and non-sectarian.
Our office is situated on the first floor of Twickenham Library. We are open every weekday 9.30am to 12.30pm. The HANDS coordinator oversees the dedicated group of office volunteers, who organise the day-to-day work of the charity. We have more than 150 clients, who are referred to us by social services, GPs or on personal recommendation and some 80 volunteers. More than 2,500 requests a year are managed through the office.
Our volunteers respond to many kinds of requests for practical help from anyone of any age in need. This can be transport to medical appointments or leisure activities, shopping, visiting, sitting to relieve carers, helping with household paperwork, wheelchair walks, light gardening and small jobs around the home. Social activities include outings, day trips and informal get-togethers such as Friendly Thursdays.
HANDS was started in 1977 by Twickenham resident Maureen Payan.
Moved by the plight of elderly, housebound people, she advertised in the local shops and schools for volunteers to provide them with Christmas meals. These volunteers formed the nucleus of an organisation which continued to grow as wider needs in the community were identified.
Charity status was acquired in 1994.
Since 1981, the Hands Charities May Fair has been a regular feature on Twickenham Green. The fair was launched by Maureen to promote voluntary activity in the borough. It is know as The Rotary Fair, run by The Rotary Club. It continues to be dedicated to enabling charities to raise funds and promote their work, and makes a fun day out for everyone connected with the Twickenham area.
Maureen was awarded a much deserved MBE for services to the community in 2009.