On the 26th July 2017 the Lido Foundation held the official opening of its Centre in Shepherds Bush, right in the heart of the community.
A new home on the Edward Woods Estate is making a big difference to the Lido Foundation in its work to help the Somali community and other minority groups.
The charity used to be based in a cramped office behind a café in Uxbridge Road, Shepherds Bush. Now, with the help of Hammersmith & Fulham Council, they’ve found a new home on the Edward Woods Estate in North Kensington. The Housing Resident Involvement Team work with third sector organisations to offer affordable office accommodation on housing land. There are eight office units on the Edward Woods estate managed by the team.
“We now have a proper centre,” said chief executive Liban Muse. “Our old office was cramped and we were hidden away. But now we’re much more accessible and we have the space we need.”
The Lido Foundation is a fantastic charity,” said Cllr Max Schmid, H&F Cabinet Member for Finance.
“It not only changes the lives of individuals, but gives them the skills and knowledge to they need to make a real contribution to our community.”
Help with work and training
The Lido Foundation was set up by Liban in January 2014 after realising there was a lack of support and advice for the Somali community.
The foundation helps them and other minority communities in different ways, including finding work and training, literacy skills and getting the benefits they are entitled to. Where they can’t help directly, they show people who to talk to, such as councillors, job centres and other charities.
The Lido Centre, part-funded by H&F Council, is open three days a week and is staffed by volunteers.
“Demand is growing all the time and the barriers to accessing support and services are getting worse,” added Liban.
He said people can struggle for a variety of reasons such as a lack of internet access and poor English.
He realised there was a need for the charity because of the amount of parents who approached him asking for help when he was a governor at Wormholt Park Primary School in White City.
“It began with parents asking me to help their children with their homework,” said Liban.
“I soon realised that the whole family needed support and not just with homework. I thought I couldn’t continue like this and I needed to set up a registered charity.
“I’m really grateful for the help we’ve received from councillors and H&F Council.”
The issues the foundation deals with are varied and complicated but choosing the charity’s name was easy.
“Lido is a beautiful beach in Somalia which brings everyone together,” he said.
The officially opening was done by Councillor Max Schmid with a number of beneficiaries in attendance who spoke movingly about the support they had received from the Lido Foundation.