May News from the Vineyard Centre & Richmond Foodbanks

By bob Kimmerling

Date 06-05-2020

‘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

Greetings from the Vineyard Community: where the café tables have been replaced by crates of tins for the Food Bank deliveries, the buzz of conversation replaced by silence and the energy of the centre by a peculiar stillness.

The work has continued – by phone, email and deliveries – helping people in crisis. But it has not been easy. The death of our dear Norman Chingwaru, our Drop-In Centre Supervisor from the virus shortly after Easter, has been hard to bear.

But we have been blessed – the community has rallied together, donations have poured in and we have restructured our services and are currently providing well over 100 food parcels a week and growing all the time.

We’ll face a new challenge now. What happens next?
We were never just about food or formal services. Our mission was to provide hope for life, to overcome isolation and social exclusion, proclaiming the love of God and to celebrate community. We’re not going to be able to quickly go back to a Community Café, the busy Drop-in sessions or the Roots ‘socials’.

But we will go forward, developing new ways to provide hope for life as we emerge from these dark lock-down days. It will be a challenging journey and I hope you will come with us!

Thank you for your support, keep healthy and, hopefully, see you all again soon!

Our mission to the community


Our Foodbank Delivery service to those in need is in full swing with thanks to British Gas for their help! Last week 121 parcels were delivered across Richmond. Fiona and Sue, both now working full time on our Covid 19 Crisis Management Team, are seen here with two of the British Gas drivers confirming their routes.

Since the beginning of April we have given food parcels to 625 people, 48% through the delivery service and the rest at our satellites in Barnes, Hampton, Isleworth, and Whitton. This is an increase of 180% or 400 people compared with the same period last year. We now offer frozen meals for those unable to cook.

With 6.3m employees on furlough, and 1.8m claims made for Universal Credit nationwide we anticipate many more will need help in the coming months.

Thank you to everyone who has given to our appeal or the fund raising events put on by supporters.


A new service from the Vineyard

We have been blessed by Gian of the St John’s Retail Group who has bought us a huge freezer to hold the frozen cooked meals which he and his friends have provided in addition to the Petersham Nursery. Each meal is labelled clearly with the ingredients and defrosting and heating instructions given. Gian, pictured right, also donates fruit and vegetables which are put in food parcels too.

A new service from the Vineyard thanks to our supporters in addition to our usual Food Bank provision.

Needing food help……………..
Our emergency crisis line, open Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm is


Please call us if you know someone in need of food help.

Food Bank facilities across Richmond

No prior referral voucher is needed as one will be given on the spot

Delivery Service

Richmond and Hampton – currently making deliveries during the week. Please phone 07516 935655 to arrange this.

Walk in Service

Isleworth – Thursdays 9.30 – 11.30 am 07593 766520 Bridgelink Community Centre, Summerwood Road, TW7 7QR Telephone: 07593 766520

Barnes – Friday 9.15 – 11.15 am Castlenau Community Centre, 7 Stillingfleet Road, SW13 9AQ

Whitton – Friday 9.30 – 12.30 am Whitton Community Centre, Percy Road, TW2 6JL. Telephone: 07448 165 356.

Please click here for a map of our locations.



Eight-year-old Frank who has been in Sheen in lockdown with his Dad for the last 7 weeks wanted to reach out with a heartfelt thank you to all the volunteers at Vineyard for the amazing work  done helping the local community!
Thank you, Frank!

Community Fundraising


The empty kitchens at Petersham Nurseries Richmond have been taken over to cook frozen meals distribution to those in need.  Anna and colleagues are cooking every Monday for the next month, creating healthy balanced meals for the less fortunate then ourselves. If you’d like to support Anna in this brilliant initiative, please click here.



Orelie got her first bike for her fourth birthday in January and she’s been practicing hard since then. Now she’s taking on a big challenge and attempting to ride 26 miles over 10 days raising money for the Richmond Foodbank. Please support her by clicking here.


This Friday, on V.E. Bank Holiday Friday, seven guys and Lottie are planning to run 100 miles in a relay with each running 12.6 miles. They are taking on the challenge to raise money for the the Vineyard and Age UK. Thank you best wishes.

Please click here if you would like to sponsor them.



Twickenham Rotary is holding a Quiz Night via Zoom this Friday at 8.00pm to raise funds for us.

The entrance fee is £5 per person. More details available at,

Have a  fun evening!

Farewell to Desiree

We bid a fond farewell to Desiree Shepherd last week who left the Vineyard after joining at the very beginning in 2011. For the last few years she managed our Roots Programme as our Development Manager. She was presented with a special memory book signed by her colleagues.. Her photo with Councillor Pamela Fleming was taken at the launch of Roots. Thank you Desiree for all that you did at the Vineyard.

Our you shopping a lot more on line during the lockdown?

Why not use Easyfundraising? It’s such an easy way to help us and it will cost you nothing. Every click you make gives us a donation.

To register on the Vineyard site please click here to sign up.

Regular monthly giving

We have 44 supporters who give regularly each month. Can you make our number 50??
Giving regularly each month through a standing orders or via Virgin Giving. With Gift Aid we get even more. This is a wonderful way to support our work. We need £9,000 per week to run the Centre.

Please click here if you’d like to commit to this yourself. Any amount given helps us continue our ministry of helping those in crisis and giving hope for life. Or, if you’d prefer to contact Annette, one of our team, please email her at

In memory of our dear friend Norman 1958-2020

Norman’s funeral is taking place today at lunch time. Sue, centre photo, is attending on our behalf.

Due to the emergency restrictions his colleagues cannot be with his family, but we will be remembering him with a time of reflection at 1.00pm today.

It seemed appropriate to show Norman (in the photo below) praying for two of our guests last year.

A prayer for the Pandemic season

Keep us Good Lord
Under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord