A new initiative by Richmond’s Vineyard Community Centre, aimed at supporting homeless people in their journey from crisis to stability, has been boosted by a cash award of $20 000 from global online payment service PayPal.

The money will be used to help run their recently launched Roots programme designed to equip rough sleepers and the jobless with employment skills. PayPal UK has also named the Vineyard as its 2019 “Hero Charity of the Year.”

Roots co-ordinator Desiree Shepherd said: “As we set off on this new venture at the Vineyard, this grant could not have come at a better time, and we are thrilled to be in partnership with PayPal.”

“We help many vulnerable people in crisis,” she continued. “Some are trying to find their way back to normal life and would like to work, but after living on the streets they may have lost their confidence or have gaps in their workplace knowledge. Roots is the next step in their journey.”

The new programme will offer practical help such as personal presentation and cv-writing and will seek work placements and mentors at local companies.

Volunteers from PayPal’s main UK office, based on Richmond’s riverside, will also assist in the project with practical help and advice. Staff who visited the charity’s nearby drop-in centre to learn about its work secured the grant from their company’s social impact scheme.


PayPal’s GIVE Team programme encourages employees globally to support the communities in which they live and work by volunteering and fundraising.

Mark Brant, Vice President & Managing Director, PayPal UK, said: “We’re proud to support a wide variety of programmes around the world, each of which helps build stronger, more inclusive communities that enable greater opportunity for individuals and families. The Vineyard is a great example of this effort.”

The Vineyard Community Centre operates a number of initiatives to assist the homeless and vulnerable. They include a drop-in centre, a charity shop and café at its premises beneath the Vineyard Life Church in Richmond, and also the Richmond Foodbank distributing from 5 centres across the borough.

Note to editors:

The new Roots programme will be launched on Wednesday 13th February at an invitation-only presentation at the church of St Elizabeth of Portugal, Richmond.

For more information and photos please contact: desiree@vineyardcommunity.org