On Friday 18th September 2020, Vineyard Compassion, birthed out of Causeway Coast Vineyard in Northern Ireland, were honoured to receive the Centre for Social Justice Financial Inclusion Award, presented by Rachel Riley.
The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) Awards is an annual, high profile award ceremony working in partnership with The Telegraph newspaper. These awards honour the best grassroots, poverty-fighting charities and social enterprises across the United Kingdom.
Ricky Wright, CEO Vineyard Compassion shared, “The Vineyard Compassion team are honoured to accept the Centre for Social Justice’s Financial Inclusion Award. It really is our joy and privilege to work alongside individuals and families in crisis, offering them hope and a solution to issues of poverty. The award is such an encouragement to our amazing staff and volunteer team by recognising the work of the charity and celebrating those who have been supported from crisis to full potential. We are truly grateful to CSJ for this award and are eager to continue partnering with them towards our shared goal of tackling poverty.”
Rachel Riley presented the award saying: “This fantastic recipient helps people when they really do need it the most, when they may be in poverty, hungry, in debt, out of work, lonely, suffering from mental ill health, or any combination of these. Helping over 5000 people a year, they meet the needs of anyone in poverty, in their area Coleraine, Northern Ireland, offering them not just a quick fix to be on their way, but an entire holistic helping hand. Not just a meal to satisfy their hunger, but clothing, counselling, a way out of debt, emergency housing, new skills to get back into work, financial training and friendship when they need it the most.”
Vineyard Compassion’s aim is to support people ‘from crisis to full potential’, by providing practical support for the poor in the local community, whilst empowering them to tackle the underlying root causes of poverty. They help through a variety of services, including housing for those at risk, emergency food, clothing and household essentials to those in crisis, as well as debt counselling and money management support.
In 2019, they provided 12,752 support sessions in their community for those at the point of crisis. They provided 15,453 emergency meals for families, and their social supermarket supported 71 families with £24,280 of total food costs saved.
Russell is one individual who received support from Vineyard Compassion, and he shared: “From the moment I walked through the door I was treated with respect and dignity. After a six-week process, I was given a home. It was totally amazing to have a key to a door. It’s your place and it’s your home. If I hadn’t come to Vineyard Compassion, I’d probably be dead or in jail.”
You can watch Russell’s full story below.