We’re here to restore dignity and revive hope in the lives of local families and individuals in crisis
As part of Stour Valley Vineyard Church, Storehouse operates a foodbank, befriending centre and a bridge to get further help. We also provide a free three-week CAP Money course for those struggling to manage their finances.
If you have a need for an emergency food bag and urgent assistance or know someone who does, please ring 07973 710905 or drop us an email. Our team is ready to help.
Why we do what we do
Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity, said that the poor will always be with us. But it is our response to those words which matters.
As Christians, we are encouraged to do all we can to reach out to our struggling neighbours. Our prayerful and active response is to serve local people in crisis with all we have: money, possessions, time and energy.
Storehouse is a 100% voluntary-run, social programme that aspires to care for a person’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
It is one practical response to a loving God who has given us so much through His son Jesus. We believe it does not only change the person receiving, but the person giving.
We are not here to judge a person, but to show merely kindness and mercy. After all, we have all done things we are not proud off and, more often than not, life is more complicated than that.
This is quite simply why Storehouse exists and, indeed, in many other Vineyards in the UK and Ireland.
History of Storehouse
Storehouse, itself, was the inspiration of the late Rev David Watson’s wife, Anne, who while pastoring a Vineyard church in York saw first-hand need to do something quick and practical to help those who had fallen through the cracks of State care. It has now been running in a large number of Vineyard churches in the UK for over 20 years.
We encourage all those who have made SVV their home to make their service to the poor a regular thing. We are also so grateful to friends of SVV who collect non-perishable food and tolietries on our behalf.
All service users are referred to us through trusted third parties such as local housing organisations, social services and other voluntary advisory bodies, including other local churches.
What’s it All About?
We have a number of Donation Stations (see the list below) around the Stour Valley Area where people can give items of dry stored food. We then collect this food, count, sort and date it, and pack it into bags ready to give out via our regular Drop-ins.
Many organisations (see the list below) hold ‘Food Request Slips’ which are given to the people who need help. They can then bring their slip along to a Drop-in (which run on a Tuesday and a Friday from 1-3pm at the Christopher Centre) and pick up a food bag. We currently give out over 100 food bags each month, each one containing: three tinned meals; a light meal; tinned veg; a tinned dessert; cereal; UHT milk; tea or coffee; rice or pasta; biscuits and toiletries. We put enough in each bag to keep someone fed for three days.
During 2016, we have taken time to put in further structures and become more efficient in the way we are working. We have needed to do this in order to make the best use of the space that we have, and are excited to see that the changes that we’ve made to the balance of our donation points and our working practices have worked. The flow of the food coming in and going out is now very even, and our stocks are well managed. We have developed a strong team of around 15 volunteers and are able to provide a really robust and caring service for the people who come through our doors.
In addition to the changes to our stock management, we have been working hard to improve our network in the community with others who are also helping to improve people’s lives. We now have solid relationships with organisations such as the Job Centre, CAB, the town council, Babergh Council, Housing benefits Office, Rent and Council Tax Reduction Office, those that can help with housing and bills, others who help people to re-connect into society when they have been alone and isolated. The list goes on. Our intention has always been to give people a ‘hand-up’ not just a ‘hand-out’, and we are now seeing this aspiration work out practically on a day to day basis.
We show people that they have hope and a future. Often, when times get hard, it is easy to lose sight of this and it takes human kindness to restore hope and dignity. That’s what were here for.
Historically, the financial cost for Storehouse has been covered by Stour Valley Vineyard Church. We have realised that the impact on our finances has been growing over the years and so during 2016, we have been working hard to raise funds elsewhere. I’m thrilled to say, that through grants and donations, we have raised £9,700 this year. The overall cost for Storehouse in 2016 has been £12,400, so we are well on the way to covering that.
So what will 2017 look like for Storehouse?
As we look ahead to the new year our goals are:
- To continue to build strong relationships with other organisations so that we can point people to a greater range of services. We are conscious that there are huge changes being implemented in the benefits system in 2017, so we are working with the Job Centre, CAB and Babergh Council to close up any holes in the system and make sure, as far as possible, that no-one is left without.
- To continue to identify those outside of the benefit system who are struggling to feed themselves and their families and to find ways of helping them further.
- To continue to provide a listening ear and food for people coming to our twice-weekly Drop-ins.
- The role for a Liaison between ourselves and other organisations is growing, and so we would like to raise the funds in order to employ someone in a part-time capacity to cover this area.
- We will be developing and launching a Storehouse Facebook page early in the new year, so keep a look out for it.
- Fundraising will be high on the agenda as with the start of the new part-time position, we will be looking to raise around £18,000 to cover the costs for 2017.
With this in mind, we would like to ask: would you prayerfully consider supporting Storehouse to help us to continue serving local families in crisis with a regular monthly, quarterly or annual gift? If you are able to do this, we’d be very grateful. Thank you.
Emergency food bags for families and individuals in crisis
Practically, we encourage people to bring a couple of non-perishable food cans to their midweek HOME group or to the Sunday Service. We always have a table out.
A typical bag put together might include the following:
- 3 meals in a tin
- 1 light meal (such as soup or beans)
- tinned vegetables
- rice or pasta (depending on what meals are in the bag)
- Tuna (or another tinned fish), or ham
- UHT milk
- Fruit and custard, or rice pudding (or other dessert)
- Tea or coffee
- Chocolate bar (everyone needs a treat!)
For a copy of our detailed shopping list click here.
If you would like to donate food items, you can drop them at one of these Donation Stations:
Waitrose, 1 Station Road, Sudbury, CO10 2SS
Ipswich Building Society, 10 Market Hill, Sudbury CO10 2EA
East of England Co-Op, The Drift, Canham’s Road Great Cornard, CO10 0EU
East of England Co-Op, Hall Street, Long Melford, CO10 9JR
East of England Co-Op, High Street, Lavenham, CO10 9PX
You can also bring food along to Stour Valley Vineyard Sunday services at the Delphi Centre, Alexandra Road, Sudbury, CO10 2ZX between 10.15-12.30.
All of these donation points will take food bought from anywhere.
Need a Food Bag?
If you require an emergency food bag for yourself or know someone you does, please contact Storehouse, not the Donation Station.
Alternatively, you can be referred to Storehouse and pick up a Request Slip from any one of the following:
Solo Housing, Genesis Housing
Phoenix Family Centre
Your local GP
Sudbury Town Council
Your local Church Minister
CAP Money Course
This is a simple and effective money management course that helps you to get in control of your finances. Run by trained Money Coaches, it is a three-week course which is held in the community. The course is free of charge and includes a free money management pack.
To find our about the next course, please contact the team on 07583 467190 or email the team.
CAP Debt Counselling
Since its launch in 1996, Christians Against Poverty has been helping people out of debt by providing a professional and friendly debt counselling service. Those who do the CAP Money course and have debts that are out of control will be able to get more detailed debt help through CAP Direct,CAP’s phone-based debt counselling service. If you’re looking for help to be more in control of your finances, please phone the church office on 01787 377 670 and we’ll put you in touch with our CAP Money Course co-ordinator.
CAP Money is supported and overseen by Stour Valley Vineyard Church. For more information, visit: CAP. We also invite referrals from other local churches.
Storehouse Foodbank’s running costs, including staff and rent are fully paid for Stour Valley Vineyard Church. If you are able to give a one-off gift or set up a regular monthly gift to help us sustain its growth and ability to keep serving our community, we’d be very grateful. Thank you.