Shepherd Star's communal lunch - a ray of hope in Richmond

By Heather Nicholls

16th Feb 2024 | Local News

On Tuesday 6 February 2024, Nub News was lucky enough to be invited to experience Shepherd Star's February communal lunch at The Bingham Riverhouse Hotel in Richmond.

Shepherd's Star is a charity, based in Richmond, which aims to make a difference by creating opportunities to purposefully bring people together, improving the quality of life of those in need and contributing towards a healthier community.

They aim to cultivate a community of kindness and build relationships.

February's meal was hosted at The Bingham Riverhouse. (Photo Credit: Sheperd's Star).

They successfully fed 70 individuals within the Richmond community and it was the sixth time the hotel has sponsored a Table of Hope in the last 31 months.

Everybody at the event was able to sit and enjoy a delicious chicken pie or aubergine lasagne cooked by the fabulous chefs at the hotel.

Dessert was a selection of puddings, kindly provided by Pots & Co.

Local community bakers provided a Love cake and a selection of cupcakes.

Raffle prizes and take-away gifts were generously donated by local business: Harrington Design & Build.

With Valentine's Day looming, the theme of the lunch was 'Love' - this one word perfectly encapsulates the entire experience.

One guest, Arthur, who saw me standing to the side of the group and immediately came and started chatting with me told me that The Shepherd Star events are an amazing community for him.

Me and Arthur waiting to go into the meal. (Photo Credit: Sheperd Star).

He told me that he loves to chat and attending these events has given him a community.

Another man, who I sat opposite during the lunch told me that the lunches and The Shepherd Star Community have given him 'a ray of hope'.

During lunch, a beautiful poem was read by one of the guests and afterward, there was a raffle.

The raffle really illustrated the generosity, love and community that these meals bring.

One man who won the raffle said that this was one of the first times in his life that he had won anything and another winner kindly gifted their prize to their friend.

Cllr Fiona Sacks chatting. (Photo Credit: Sheperd's Star).

The Deputy Mayor, Cllr Fiona Sacks, was the special guest at this month's lunch and she said some moving words at the end of the lunch.

She said: "What an honour and a privilege to have been invited here and to have witnessed so much community and love.

'Desiree, you and your team are inspirational! I look forward to working closely with you going forward'.

Everywhere you looked there was a display of love and community, from the two friends eating outside because one man had bought his dog, to exchanging raffle prizes, singing happy birthday and Arthur keenly introducing me to his lodger.

One of the guests enjoying his pie! (Photo Credit: Sheperd's Star).

Laura Stone, Shepherd's Star Project Leader said: "Table of Hope is always a wonderful community collaboration!

"We are so grateful to Sam - and her incredible team - at the Bingham Riverhouse who always welcome our Shepherd's Star community with such wide, open arms.

"This is the sixth time the Bingham Riverhouse has hosted one of our Tables of Hope - and as always, it was exceptional.

"Everything from the stunning banqueting table, to the fine dining and the fantastic service contributed towards making this experience a very special one.

"For many of our guests, this type of dining opportunity is well beyond their means, so the generosity and kindness of local businesses who continue to support our monthly Tables of Hope, make such a positive impact in our community and really do contribute towards the well-being of those in need."


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