From a small group run by church volunteers, FiSH has grown over the years to become a charity that provides essential services across Barnes, Mortlake & Sheen.
We owe our success to hundreds of volunteers who have given up their time to help out with myriad activities and whose generosity has touched the lives of countless older people across South West London.
Our success is also very much due to the drive and vision of our directors, and none more so than Jenny Hughes BEM who was appointed in 2001 and retired in 2018. During that time thanks both to Jenny’s ambitions and fundraising abilities FiSH moved to its current offices and expanded its operations to include what has become a small fleet of our instantly recognisable mini-buses.
After Jenny, Micky Forster took the reins and built on Jenny’s work by building ever closer ties with local community organisations. She also arrived just in time to see Covid hit and present FiSH with the biggest challenge it has ever faced. In the face of Covid, the organisation really came into its own, with volunteers helping those shielding both practically and emotionally.
With an ageing population community services like FiSH are now needed more than ever and our latest Director, Arlene Coutts will ensure FiSH is on hand to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
FiSH is founded
Mortlake & Sheen FiSH joins together with Barnes FiSH
First Minibus arrives
FiSH moves to Barnes Green Centre
FiSH becomes a charity
We're given the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service
FiSH responds to Covid pandemic
Our 60 year anniversary
The stories of FiSH
1963 was one of the coldest winters on record in the UK. While the rest of us were huddling round our coal fires, some concerned young residents of Sheen and Barnes were growing ever more worried about the plight of older people who were trapped indoors by what became...
It has been fascinating to observe the developments which have taken place since I became a FiSH volunteer almost thirty years ago. At that time, FiSH was comprised of a small group of “helpers” (as we were then known) serving Sheen and Mortlake and organised by Jean...
Marylee Berners-Lee, mother of Tim - inventor of the world wide web - was a FiSH volunteer since the start of the scheme in Sheen. In this article written before her death in 2018 she explains here how it all began in 1963. During the 1960s, in the parish of Mortlake...
Eventually in 2001, following discussions between Michael Butler of Sheen FiSH and Veronica in Barnes, the two strands of FiSH amalgamated as one organisation covering the three areas of Barnes, Mortlake and East Sheen. The merger resulted in the London Borough of...
The big step forward came in 2004 when, with the aid of RaKAT, FiSH began to raise money from the community and was able to purchase its own fully accessible minibus based at its new HQ at the Barnes Green Centre. Now, working in partnership with Age UK Richmond, FiSH...
In the past few years, following further appeals within the neighbourhood and generous grants from local organisations, FiSH has been able to purchase three accessible minibuses – named Jenny, Andy and Nicola. These are parked at Walsingham Lodge by kind permission of...