Richmond Outreach Programme Celebrates Honour
The Vineyard Community Centre, a scheme created by Vineyard Congregational Church to offer support and help to local residents has won a prestigious national ‘Community Project Award’.
Opening in early 2012 with the aim of meeting the needs of the homeless and socially excluded in South West London, the Vineyard Community Centre now hosts regular drop-in and café sessions for all members of the community.
A variety of daily sessions for the local people are on offer, including a morning drop-in where food, clothing, showers and internet services are available for the homeless; an afternoon café promoting social inclusion and an evening youth café with live music.
The Vineyard Church also runs an on-street Charity Shop which supports the work of the Community Centre and a food bank has also recently been opened to provide sustenance to families in crisis.
Although the centre is run and managed by Vineyard Congregational Church, they have attracted volunteers from other churches in the area as well as those of no faith and this has helped developed a sense of community.
Church member and trustee of the Vineyard Community Centre Peter Flower attended the Congregational Federation Assembly in Kent to receive the award and £2,000 prize money.
He said: “We’re thrilled to receive this recognition from the Congregational Federation and Congregational & General Insurance.
“The Vineyard Community Centre has become essential to the community in Richmond, especially those in crisis. We pride ourselves on supporting whoever requires our help – from welcoming visitors to enjoy the book club and knitting group at our afternoon Community Café, to the help given to the homeless at our Morning Drop-In. In the evenings, young people learn vocational skills at our Youth Café to enable them put on live music events to raise funds for the Centre.
“We plan to use our prize fund to offer continued employment opportunities at the Centre; to purchase sleeping bags and tents to distribute to those in need; and to enhance the facilities on offer.”
Margaret Slater, Marketing Manager from Congregational and General Insurance, said: “We’re delighted to present this award to Vineyard Congregational Church as the team’s work is of great value within the community.
“The inclusiveness that the Vineyard Community Centre promotes is truly inspiring and is obviously appreciated by the local community. The friendliness and warmth offered at the Centre is clear to see and Vineyard Congregational Church is a very worthy winner.”
The Community Project Awards, sponsored by Congregational & General Insurance, seek to recognise local schemes that make a positive impact in their community.