Love Your Neighbour

Stories of kindness, changed lives, and serving the people around us

Here at Vineyard 61 compassion is one of our highest values and we love taking time to help people in our local communities. Take a read of some of these stories below and get in touch if you’d love to join our amazing Love Your Neighbour team to help with future projects.


“Hi, my name is Elaine, and I’m 67. I was born in Scotland but I’ve been down in London since I was 15.”

Elaine first connected with V61 through the job club, getting help with her CV. Now Elaine comes along to the Hub at the URC in Balham every Monday, a community space open to everyone. “I love coming down because when you’re on your own, it’s nice to have people around.”

Elaine has had a very tough year so far. Her son very sadly died in January and in February she had a bad burn accident, leaving her “emotionally and physically exhausted.” Elaine’s home was full of her son’s old things which needed sorting – an emotional process. “I hated throwing his stuff out, but there was so much of it. So I’m just keeping his awards, photographs and memorabilia.”

On top of this, Elaine also needed to replace her old windows, but couldn’t because her garden was so overgrown – “it was a jungle!”.

Elaine couldn’t do it all on her own, so she reached out to Kristen for some help.

“I’ve known Kristen for ages. I knew that I needed help and that I couldn’t do it myself. I’m not physically able to do it! I contacted her and said, would you be able to help? And she rounded up some volunteers… and they came, they saw, they conquered!”

Over two sessions the amazing volunteers cleared the garden – an epic job – and hired a truck to take all the garden waste away, along with many bulky items from inside her home.

“When the volunteers were helping to clear the garden – which was absolutely amazing – I gave them all a little goodie bag. It’s the least I could do. People were giving up their Saturdays! There’s just so much kindness out there, and there’s no shame in saying ‘I need help’. I’m very grateful to everyone at V61.”

The next stage of helping Elaine will be to continue to help her maintain her garden.

If you’d like to help with the Elaine gardening project or any other Love Your Neighbour projects we’re running, or if you need help, please get in touch with our Compassion Manager Kristen below.