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Closure of RB Mind's Vineyard Project
We are extremely saddened to inform all of our service users and supporters that it has now been confirmed that the Vineyard Project in its current form will have to close at the end of March 2011. This is because RB Mind simply cannot afford to meet the project's funding shortfall.
Although this is very sad for us all, we are heartened that many people from the local community have come forward to discuss ways to continue to support the people who use the Vineyard Project. Over the last month, RB Mind has held discussions with various members of the local community to look at ways in which the community could continue to do this. As well as the Vineyard Congregational Church (who have been very supportive landlords), several local statutory and voluntary sector organisations have been involved in these discussions including SPEAR and the local Citizens Advice Bureaux, as well as local police. Richmond Council and South West London and St George’s Mental Health Trust are also working closely with RB Mind to ensure that individuals’ social care, health and housing related needs are assessed and met going forward. Local MP Zac Goldsmith, Cllr Pamela Fleming, Strategic Cabinet Member for Community Development and Cllr Frances Bouchier have all been consulted.
A number of local churches have also become involved – some of whom already run their own drop in services for homeless people, but on a smaller scale. The churches are very keen to find ways to continue to support the people who use the Vineyard Project, and one possibility may be that these churches work together on a voluntary basis to continue to provide some support services from the current base of the Vineyard Congregational Church.
The local community has always played a huge part in supporting and running the Vineyard Project. RB Mind would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people from the local community who have supported the Vineyard Project for more than 30 years – many generous individuals, churches, schools, companies and a great number of dedicated volunteers have enabled the Vineyard Project to run for such a long time. We would also like to express our thanks to the current staff of the Vineyard Project, Brian, Andi and Michelle, who have worked so hard to support all those who come through their doors and have helped to turn many lives around.
In several meetings with Service users they have been actively informing us of what they will need beyond the closure. RB Mind will do all it can to ensure that the people who use the Vineyard Project are not left without support. As well as continuing discussions with the local community, we are also putting together comprehensive information to direct service users to all the other organisations and services in the local area who may be able to provide help and support.