By Cathy, Philip and Becca
The Vineyard Community Centre in Richmond offers support to local people in crisis. They receive regular food from The Felix Project, which is used for emergency food supplies, snacks and nutritious meals. When Felix volunteers share stories with each other about their delivery routes, there’s often talk about the warm welcome from staff and visitors at Vineyard’s busy drop-in centre.
The community centre is close to the heart of Richmond’s busy shopping area, with pubs, restaurants and some of the most spectacular views of the Thames. But like anywhere in the country, even the most thriving communities, there are also people experiencing homelessness, addictions or mental or social difficulty. The Vineyard Centre is helping to address this. Each morning, their drop-in centre looks after up to 40 visitors who are lonely, marginalised and in need of support. In the afternoon it is open to all-comers as a budget-friendly community café for local residents, businesses and people visiting Richmond, as well as individuals who are marginalised.
Food in the café offers nourishment and meals together. Over and above this, the Vineyard Community Centre’s approach to social inclusion extends to connecting their visitors with specialist legal, medical and housing services, and providing skills pathway projects. Current skills development includes barista, hospitality and sewing training. Beautifully handcrafted, lined tote bags that are made in the 'Works of Love' sewing workshop are for sale in Vineyard's charity shop.
Vineyard’s strap line is ‘help in crisis, hope for life’. Felix Project volunteers who visit the centre see this in action, and love to see how the food we deliver is helping Vineyard’s work.
Information about the Vineyard Community centre, stories about the people they help, and directions to their cafe and shop, is on their website: www.vineyardcommunity.org.
By Cathy, Philip and Becca, volunteers at The Felix Project