Causeway Chronicle

Vineyard Compassion Unveils Impact Card 2023: Volunteers Transforming Lives

In a remarkable display of community spirit, volunteers at a local anti-poverty charity have collectively contributed 19,539 hours of their time in 2023, equivalent to a staggering £203,596 based on national minimum wage rates. These dedicated individuals have sacrificed their time to support countless lives across the Causeway Coast and Glens Council area.

Vineyard Compassion proudly presents its annual impact card, showcasing the profound impact made on the local community throughout the past year. The figures speak volumes, highlighting the remarkable dedication of our local volunteers in making a tangible difference in the lives of others.

CEO of Vineyard Compassion, Ricky Wright, expressed his gratitude, emphasising the indispensable role of volunteers as the very heart and soul of the organisation, “We are indebted to our incredible volunteers who are the backbone of the organisation and none of this would be possible without them”.

Featured prominently on the Impact Card’s front page is Russell Wisener, a volunteer with Vineyard Compassion since 2016, who sadly passed away on 5 January 2024. Russell came to Vineyard Compassion when he was in a difficult situation and needed some help and went on to become one of their most recognised faces. He moved from receiving help to being the one who offered that help to others as part of the volunteer team and then as part of the staff team.

Russell would look out for those who were struggling, coming alongside them to share his own experience and offer them hope. That was most evident in the work he did in the Link Logs project where he mentored local men, as they journeyed back to employment. Russell’s life served as a shining example of the power of volunteering and the impact it can make on the community and on individual lives. The team at Vineyard Compassion are heartbroken to lose him but continue to see his legacy in the lives of the men he supported.

The volunteer and staff team work closely together at Vineyard Compassion to offer a range of support projects which have, sadly, all seen an increase in activity over the last year.

Overall, in 2023 the charity supported 3,624 clients (48% increase on previous year). The Foodbank project grew by 20% to serve a whopping 33.5 tons of food and helping 3759 individuals.

Noteworthy achievements include the Christians Against Poverty project, which celebrated six families becoming debt free, and Compassion Counselling, which delivered an astounding 2,100 counselling sessions to individuals of all ages—an impressive 126% increase from the previous year.

And the RESET Supermarket offered long-term support to 99 households by offering access to reduced cost food and saving families a total of £31,073 – more spaces are available on this project in 2024.

Vineyard Compassion is not slowing down in 2024 and continue to see volunteers stepping up to help make a positive impact in their local community. Ricky Wright offers his heartfelt thanks to everyone who gives their time and energy for the good of their neighbours and extends the invitation to anyone who wants to be part of the volunteer team to find out more through the ‘Help Others’ section of the website www.vineyardcompassion.co.uk .

Causeway Chronicle

Causeway Chronicle