Christmas news from the Vineyard Centre

By bob Kimmerling

Date 15-12-2020

Our mission to the community

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me’. Jesus said ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

A message from Mark our Chief Executive

Please remember the Homeless this Christmas!

It hasn’t been a great year but, as 2020 draws to a close and we enter the season of Christmas, it is timely to remember those traditional Christian injunctions to ‘count our blessings’ and to think of those who are ‘less fortunate’ than ourselves.  As well as the food bank, which has been operating throughout the year, we were pleased to resume our drop-in services for homeless people in October.  Since then we have been able to assist eight of our homeless guests off the streets and into accommodation.  With growing numbers of people finding themselves becoming homeless – and winter drawing in – this work literally saves lives.

But our drop-in service provides more than just a breakfast – there’s our community nursing clinics, housing and benefits advice, showers and clothing as well as a warm welcome and a compassionate ear. I’d like to take this opportunity to invite you to buy a homeless person a hot breakfast. We calculate that it costs us about £2.50 to provide this (and sponsoring a morning session of hot breakfasts for up to 50 people will come to £125). From the New Year, every day up until  after the spring  we want to be able to bless our guests in this way.

Please help us and click here to make a donation.

A day in the life of the Drop-in

A snapshot of this morning’s Drop-in activity:

29 guests visited the Centre; 11 were street homeless; we introduced 7 to our Glass Door Caseworker colleague and our Caseworker David worked with four guests  with complex needs.
Some guests and their needs whom we are helping:

A very vulnerable man needing access to hospital and a mental health assessment.

An older man needing access to a Social Care Assessment to help prevent him becoming homeless.

A very vulnerable 59-year-old woman with mental health difficulties needing support to maintain her tenancy which she was about to imminently lose.

A  45-year-old woman who fled domestic violence with her children supporting her to maintain her tenancy and so avoid becoming homeless with her kids; also providing  her with food packages whilst she struggles to feed her family.

A severely entrenched man needing access to Social Services for a Care Needs Assessment, a mobile phone and be verified by the local outreach team to access temporary accommodation and mental health services for a mental health assessment.

There are many more whose stories we could tell.

Help please

We urgently need gloves  to give to those on the streets. If you have any spare, please bring them to the Drop-in. Thank you!

Dr Mukesh Shah from the NHS Mobile Vaccination Unit visited the Drop-in to give our guests flu jab in October. We hope to be able to be authorised through our local GP surgery to administer the COVID 19 vaccination once it becomes available for our vulnerable guests who are on the streets.

We are delighted that we announce that we reopened the foodbank at the Hampton YMCA Whitehouse, the Avenue, Hampton. We are open for visitors on Tuesdays from 9.30 to 12.30 and Wednesdays 2 to 5pm. It’s great to see some of our former volunteers return and offer support again from these premises. We are back in business!

The satellite food banks in Barnes, Isleworth and Whitton have continuously provided walk-in services. Before Christmas the foodbank opening times are as follows:

Barnes-Castelnau Centre. Last day is Friday 18th December 2020 from 9.15-11.15 am.
Hampton-White House. Last day is Wednesday 16th December 2020 from 2-5pm.
Vineyard Community Centre. Last day is Monday 21st December 2020 from 12.30-4pm. 
Whitton-Whitton Community Centre. Last day is Friday 18th December from 9.30-12.30pm. 

Click here for

Glass Door has been providing an evening meal for 10-15 guests cooked by volunteers from seven Richmond Churches: All Saints (East Sheen), Christ Church (East Sheen), Holy Trinity (Richmond), St John the Divine, St Matthias (Richmond), Teddington Baptist Church and the Vineyard Life Church using the Centre’s premises. Under COVID-19 regulations, apart from Glass Door staff and church volunteers, only 15 can be fed at any one time but a take way service is helping a few more guests. Glass Door has 28 people on their ‘books’ and the evening meal will be served over Christmas and the holiday period.

A big thank you to Glass Door and church volunteers like Donna and Alan (above) from the Vineyard Life Church. More information about our partners at Glass Door can be found here if you’d like to bless them with a donation.

Our Charity Shop has re-opened again since last month’s lock down closure. Please come and visit it us!

We are very grateful to Richmond Parish Lands for providing new, extra temporary premises for a Pop Up Charity Shop in Paradise Road (entrance through the front door). Shop fitting is going on apace and we hope to open before Christmas. We’ll announce more on our Facebook page as soon as we know.

This what our old kitchen looked like a few months ago as we refurbished it completely and built a small extension to the building for a new preparation area and staff toilet.  Our Chef Kim is getting ready for service soon!

Our grateful thanks to all those who donated to the cost of the work – individuals as well as Savills Estate Agents, Saputo Dairy UK, and AllChurches Trust, Ham Village Centre, Help the Homeless, The Heathrow Community Fund, London Catalyst, Bernard Sunley Foundation, Screwfix Foundation, and the Laings Families Trust.

The Cafe will re-open in the afternoons under current Covid 19 regulations we hope before Christmas.

Community Giving

Thanks to the residents of Falcon Road, Hampton, who collected for our Christmas boxes to guests in need; also the customers of La Familia Restaurant in Hampton Hill who during last month’s lockdown donated £200 to buy much needed food for distribution.

Our grateful thanks to the pupils of The Mall School, Twickenham for their support as well as students from St Mary’s University, Twickenham for their donations to our foodbank which will help those in need across the borough.

Thanks to the pupils from St Catherine’s School, Twickenham for their beautifully packed up Christmas parcels ready for giving to our guests.

The Met Police came from Wimbledon this week to collect some bags of Christmas goodies to give to eight women and one man who have been victims of violence or domestic violence. We were able to provide two  bags for each person, because of all the donations we have received recently. Thank you to those who gave!

All of our guests who have used the Richmond Foodbank in the Hampton area are invited to All Saints Church in The Avenue, Hampton, to receive Christmas Food Parcels just before Christmas.

Parcels are being given away from the car park area from 1-3pm on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd December. Young People from Basement Door will be singing Christmas Carols to add to the festive mood !! Thank you All Saints and Kevin and the Basement Door charity!

Tomorrow, Saturday 12th December, as a special one-off event, the Vineyard’s special knitting group, The ‘Knitwits’, will be selling their unique creations outside the charity shop which will be open, from 10.00am to 4.00pm.

Here is one of their beautifully made creations.

Please come and visit  them – all proceeds to the Vineyard!

Christmas & New Year Arrangements

All services at the Vineyard will be closed from Friday 24 December 2020 until Monday 4 January 2021.

Food Bank vouchers can be redeemed at the Isleworth Food Bank at the Bridgelink Community Centre on Monday and Thursday 9.30 – 11.30 after Christmas.

We are advising our homeless guests to access Crisis at Christmas – details here.

The Glass Door Dinner Service will be operating throughout the holiday period every evening as highlighted above.

Thank you Big Yellow

We are very grateful that the Big Yellow continue to provide free storage for our Foodbank stock in Richmond.

This is a huge help to us.

Many thanks you!

Just click here to sign up to shop with Amazon Smile and chose the Vineyard for your donation.

Thank you!

Every click you make gives us a donation. To register to give to the Vineyard please click here.

Do you need your Winter Fuel Allowance? Many  of those we help do, but  as a supporter you do not have a need, please consider donating it to support our guests by clicking here.

We are grateful to be awarded the ‘best crisis and social inclusion provider for Greater London‘  by Southern EnterpriseAwards with all credit to our comitted, compassionate and  faithful staff and volunteer team.

Prayer is foundational to our work. We meet to pray every Tuesday at 12.00noon for 15 minutes at the Centre and with those on able to be there via Zoom. If you would to join this time of informal prayer, please email our prayer co-ordinator for the Zoom link to be sent you:

John, the disciple who knew Jesus more closely than anyone else, said of Him:

‘In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.  All things were created through Him, and without Him nothing was created that was created.  In Him was life, and the life was the light of mankind.  The light shines in darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it.’