Masbro Voices



Thank YOU Yasuko!

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‘We've happily moved back to our home country, Chile, 10 days ago. I brought my Triple P parenting program booklet with me as I really treasure it. I enjoyed so much the parenting courses at Masbro's as it was an excellent opportunity to pause and reflect about our everyday work as a parent and look in ways to improve. Thank you so much for your work, your talks were absolutely amazing. Keep doing what you do so well! I was pleased to receive your email today and remember those happy moments at Masbro. – Francisca Alvarez (parent)

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It’s a busy time for maths students at Masbro who are now revising for summer term exams in June.


Jo says: Studying maths at Masbro is so much more fun than when I was at school! We learn a lot but in a relaxed and friendly environment with great support from our tutor Virginia Crosbie. I feel confident and able to help my children with their maths homework now.  Getting a maths qualification will help me get more training and get a job.

Clair says: We work together in class to improve our maths skills, and while it’s challenging at times our tutor is patient and explains concepts in an easy way so I feel that I’ve learned a lot!If you would like to improve your everyday maths skills or get a qualification for work or further education, out next free course starts in September 2017, contact Rosemarie Hayden on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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International Women’s Day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action - whatever that looks like globally at a local level. But one thing is for sure, International Women's Day has been occurring for well over a century - and continues to grow from strength to strength. It was such a pleasurable experience to be part of such exciting events over the course of celebrations marking this special occasion. Special thanks to Barbara Shelton, Project Manager of United Partnership Group, Melanie Knox, Head of Community Partnership, Hammersmith United Charities and Jacqueline Boyce, Centre Manager at Edward Woods Community Centre, as I had the pleasure of adding value by means of providing organic food, juices and natural body products.  

visit Carol's Organic Kitchen Blog






Many thanks to Margaret Van-Arcadie who is a member of the Older people Service. Margaret has been supported by our volunteers and also attends the tea club.

Thank you Margaret for your kind donation and for being part of the Masbro family!
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August 2016

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The Elders totally enjoyed the seaside trip to Hastings 23rd August -and here is some feed back. A lovely comment from one of our service users David Small.

"Just a line to say how grateful Vincent and I were for the trip yesterday. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  Glen was such a nice guy. The coach was so comfortable.
We found a beautiful Brazilian coffee shop not long after we arrived. Junior, the owner originally from Sao Paolo was great. We walked along the beach and found a cockle stall, so fresh and then a genuine traditional fish and chop cafe. Before we found an amazing ice cream parlour. So we did everything a Brit does on a day trip.

Thanks again,
With love, 

 July 2016

Flowers from appreciative parents to Jennifer Devane and her team Visit our website 
for more info about the Masbro Children's Centre 

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MAY 2016 

Big thank you to Glaxo Smith & Kline for taking up another challenge at the Masbro Centre on Thursday 19th May and transforming a garden which now can be enjoyed by staff members and service users.  They did an incredible job. Well done GSK!!  
...Are you interested in volunteering at the Masbro? 


APRIL 2016

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If you are interested in volunteering at the Masbro Centre please contact Rosemarie 020 7605 0800/  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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If you are interested in volunteering at the Masbro Centre please contact Rosemarie 020 7605 0800/  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Jan 2016 

Thank you e-mail from a grateful son

We continue to provide support to our senior citizens through the Masbro Older Peoples Service

and this is a thank you e-mail we received from a grateful son of one of our 88 year old members.


“I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the team for the support you give to our Mum. I live in France and my sister Jane lives in Canada so it's not easy to be with Mum on a regular basis. I try and come every three weeks but sometimes it's not possible so your help & support really does help. Thank you so much”   -Christopher B.


We received a donation of £650 from a deceased former user’s estate (Anne Clarke). Her son Jimmy Clarke expressed his gratitude for the love and care his mother received every time she attended activities at the Masbro Older Peoples Tea Club .   Thank you Jimmy, this money will go towards costs to continue running the seniors club.

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November 2015


                                                                                              AGM 2015

Over 80 people attended the Urban Partnership Group AGM on Monday 30th November including local Ward Councillor and Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion Sue Fennimore.

Certificates of appreciation were awarded to the following volunteers who had contributed to the work of the Masbro Centre.

Nobby Madden for his work with the Older People Tuesday afternoon tea club.

Shona Samuels for her work with the Children’s Centre Parent’s Chat room plus her design work for the Children’s Centre Halloween party and Christmas grotto last year.

Pavia Hynkova for her administration support for the Parenting project and Children’s Centre.

Sue Watson for her support to the special needs pottery, older people’s service and leafletting.

Monika Szulak for facilitating parents sessions for our Confident Parent Happy Child project

Frances Horsley for her befriending work for the Older People Service

Matthew Gahan for his gardening work at the Masbro Centre and for older people living in the local community.

Sabrina Tesfai for her work with Edward Woods Community Champions including her contribution to the youth survey.

Finally Lyn Sullivan for her support of the Children’s Centre and Nursery.


Andy Sharpe Chief Executive of Urban Partnership Group thanked all the volunteers who had undertaken over 6000 hours work for the local community. Highlights of a good year for Masbro Centre included 144 qualifications in basic skills, 89 people into employment, three year funding from the Big Lottery for our Confident Parent Happy Child Project, establishment of the Masbro Nursery and Children’s Centre outreach team, successful summer youth programme and launch of girls and young women’s night, increasing numbers for the older people service and footfall for the Masbro Centre. For full details see annual report.

Future plans involve working with the Council to safeguard Children’s Centres, youth services and public assets and look at creative ways to generate income to maintain and develop services for local communities. The meeting ended with some delicious Caribbean food and British bake offs served by members of the youth club  that were enjoyed by all


October 2015

Bess's Story:

I visited the Masbro Centre many times when my child was between 3 and 18 months. For me it was a real lifeline. It provided a safe space for my child to play and experiment with new and different toys. It was also very important to me and helped me stay "sane" in those early months. The staff and additional support were also very helpful and we enjoyed special events like Santa coming. We still visit from time to time.

I am a professional woman and am very lucky to have had lots of support from family and friends. But I still found the support of the Masbro extremely helpful. I can only imagine how important it would have been to me if I hadn't had that kind of security and support.



September 2015


The Volunteer of the Month for September 
2015  Lynn

Lynn has been has been working with the Children’s Centre team.

Lynn says: I chose to volunteer at Masbro because I brought my son here 30 years ago and all my family have close links here. We like the ethos of Masbro. 

 I started working in the nursery and I loved it, the children and staff who ran the sessions. Lynn Sullivan 1

My chat room fellow volunteers are great people to work with as we organised and participated in events for Masbro Children’s Centre. 

We did Nia's volunteer training course which was thoroughly exhilarating  and fun. I enjoyed working at Sally's young parents sessions too.  All the prominent staff here have always been very supportive and caring. Their commitment and dedication to Masbro is impressive. It is a privilege to work with you all. Thank you.  

Thank you Lynn!!!





 Anything is possible, just ask Thoyeba. 

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Thoyeba joined the employment programme at the Masbro Centre in January 2014. She held undergraduate degree in business administration from overseas and wanted to progress her education further, however she needed to improve her English first. She joined ESOL and English courses at the Masbro, and quickly progressed her way up to the highest level, achieving level 2 pass in July 2015. While studying for her final English exams Thoyeba applied for a place at university to study Business top up course and was accepted starting the course in late September 2015! Thoyeba was extremely happy that she finally was able to reach for her dream career in business, open further employment opportunities and become a positive role model for her young son. Once she completes 1 year of Business top up course Thoyeba is planning to continue her education and study for a Master’s Degree in Business.

Thoyeba says:

It was hard work especially because I have a little son to look after, but I kept my goal in mind and that helped me to stay focused, improve my English and secure a place at university. I am very excited and can’t wait to start my business course!




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Anthony joined the employment programme at the Masbro Centre in June 2014. He was unemployed for a long time due to health problems but now felt better and ready for planning for his return to work. Anthony didn’t have a CV and was not sure how and where to look for jobs, he also didn’t have any computer skills so was not able to search for jobs online. Anthony’s confidence was low, he felt that after years of being unemployed his skills were rusty and he wasn’t sure if he was able to cope with the commitment of having a job.

With the support of employment adviser Anthony developed a CV, opened an email account and started learning IT skills for job search. He also joined  IT course at the Masbro to further improve computer skills and have access to a computer so he could look for jobs. The next step was a volunteering placement as a driver with a local charity which helped Anthony to regain confidence and proved that he was ready to get back to employment.

The last barrier arose when Anthony was shortlisted for interview but didn’t have any interview clothes to wear. It turned out that this could be solved and Anthony was referred toSuited & Booted’ charity which provides interview clothes and interview coaching to men in need. With a new suit and confidence boost from the mock interview Anthony felt well prepared for meeting prospective employers. He was soon offered a part time job as a driver. Anthony feels that he is back on track and has a good reason to get up every day in the morning. He also successfully completed IT course and gained functional skills qualification in computing. He is planning to continue to attend the course at the Masbro to progress onto next levels.

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July 2015





Career dreams do come true!

Follow Phil's amazing story from March 2015.  Gosia Banach (our Employment Adviser)

has an exciting update! Here's what Gosia has to say:

You might remember the successful career change story of Phil, one of my clients who had been on the Raise project (scroll down on this page to March 2015),Phil Hunt1

‘Phil’s story: Successful career change with support of Employment Project by Masbro Centre’,

When I met Phil last year, he had just left his job as a store manager in a luxury footwear boutique in Westfield Village to follow his dream of becoming a hairdresser.

He since then studied NVQ in hairdressing, got a job in a salon and is now on the ‘Hair’ show on BBC2! So far Phil has been doing very well on the show, received high marks from the judges, and even won some tasks. You can watch the show on BBC2,   and the programme website

I am extremely proud and excited for Phil, and hope he will win the show, or even if not I am sure this will open many opportunities for him.

 Well done Phil from all of us at the Masbro!!


Volunteer of the month June 2015 – Case Study

Mrs Monostori (93) was referred to the Masbro Older People’s Service by Activity Plus in October 2014. Mrs M has memory issues and required a volunteer befriender to escort her out for walks and companionship. She was also an accomplished artist, but had lost the inspiration to create new work; as she attended local community art groups and these were for beginners, which made her feel frustrated and soon expressed the need of seeing someone on a one 2 one basis, which made her feel more comfortable.

The service placed Mrs M with Frances Hornsley, a young lady who has been visiting her ever since on a weekly basis and kindly supporting her not only with escorting and friendship but has also modelled for Mrs M and inspired her to rekindle her love of creating new works of art and re-building her confidence.

Thank you Frances for befriending Mrs Monostori. We need more people like you. Well done!!

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Congratulations to Sue

Sue has been chosen as the volunteer of the month for April 2015


 Sue has been volunteering for Masbro for over 4 years and has
been supporting most of the projects, including Elders project, Pottery Group,
Adult Learning, Yard Sale, most events and now new Readers group.


Huge thanks to our administrative assistant Pavla who has been our Volunteer of the Month in March 2015. Pavla has been working with Employment, Adult Education, Parenting Projects and Children's Centre for over 6 months now and her admin support has been invaluable for busy projects at Masbro.



Susan’s Story

I completed Strengthening Families Strengthening Communities’ parenting programme as a parent back in 2012, and went on to complete facilitator train as a parent volunteer in October 2014. I started to deliver my first group 13 week group at the Masbro Centre in January 2015. I felt both apprehensive and excited to take the opportunity.

I have delivered the group with another trained parent, Monika. I have to say Monika has really made the process so much better and really comfortable. She is a great resource and source of support for both our group and myself. Parents attending the group have been really open to the experience which has made the process easier, they all seem to have enjoyed the learning and are keen to develop and put the learning into practice. I must say parents have been so open, honest  and trusting. To ensure parents felt safe in the group we developed a working agreement at the start.

Throughout the weeks there has been lots of information, sharing and course curriculum to follow and deliver. At times this has been a challenge as the session can fly by. However what I've enjoyed the most has been getting to know the parents and hearing how they have put their SFSC learning into practice. As a parent myself who began this journey as a participant, I know the SFSC programme works and would encourage everyone to consider the benefits of learning new skills as a parent. You never know what you may learn and discover about yourself and your children. As a parent we have a huge responsibility raising children, and at times overwhelming challenges to face. Therefore it is  so important we understand and help build a better future. 


The Volunteer of the Month for January 2015 was Nobby who has been invaluable to
Elder's Project and Afternoon Tea Club for many years.



March 2015

‘’Phil’s story: Successful career change with support of Employment Project by Masbro Centre.’’

Phil joined the employment project when he became unemployed.  He had worked in retail but felt unhappy and unfulfilled working extreme long hours and not having much career prospects. 

 He was looking for a career in a more creative environment. Working with his advisor Phil decided to apply to the local College for a hairdressing course and was successful.

 Phil's 'Mind Map'

He is now studying towards an NVQ Level 3 in Hairdressing.  He has also obtained a part time job in prestigious hairdressing in central London and can hone his newly acquired hairdressing skills. Phil loves working in the hairdressing environment and it has helped he tap into his creative energy.

He has also attended a Photoshop course at the Masbro Centre.   Phil expects to complete his training in hairdressing in one year and would then like to apply for a full time position in hairdressing.

Phil, Employment Support Project, by Masbro Centre, ESF and London Councils






Vita’s story: My new job gave me a new life!’’

Vita joined the Career Enhancement Project at Masbro in July 2014. She felt stuck working in retail, without much career prospects and opportunities for progression. Together with her adviser Vita worked on her CV, job search strategy, interview skills and all important confidence to be able to take full control of her job search.  After couple of months Vita successfully found a new job in administration, and to her delight the new position offered training, excellent development opportunities and better pay.

Vita says:

‘’I really enjoy my new job and the company is sending me to different places for various trainings; it is very busy at times and a lot to remember but I enjoy the experience.  

I am very happy at the moment, a new job gave  me a new life. Now I can spend more time with my partner and I even joined a gym. I can't believe it because I've never had time for it and also felt too tired before working long hours. So far so good, my mood has changed a lot compared to the past.  Thank you for making me stronger and more positive. I really appreciate for all your time and help.’’

Vita, Career Enhancement project by Masbro Centre and Trust for London.



Volunteer Makes a Difference

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"Around three months ago I got in touch in regards to one of our customers, who despite her love for reading, was finding it increasingly difficult to pursue her hobby. Her vision was deteriorating and she was unable to leave her bed. She had told me how depressed this was making her feel and asked if there was anything that could be done.

The Masbro Centre arranged for a volunteer to visit her each week and read to her. Three months have passed and I would just like to say how much of a transformation I have seen in her. She is happier and has said that she looks forward to her weeks now.

When I last visited there were human brain diagrams pinned on the wall. I'd known that  the customer had completed a science degree, but it turns out the reading volunteer also shares the same passion for science that she does. It was great to see." 

Home Library Service   -ELRS Libraries,  London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham

“A huge thank you to Amanda Jones (volunteer) who works at Leo Burnet and through her weekly visits has made a big difference in Mrs Omari’s life”

Are you thinking of becoming a volunteer?  Talk to us about it. Click here for more info on volunteering. It really does make a difference!