Wednesday 23 June 2021, is a date that will be long remembered by the Watford community, as the day a member of the royal family – HRH Prince Richard Duke of Gloucester, came to visit. The reason? To acknowledge the outstanding work and significant impact of One Vision.
Founded in August 2018 and its subsequent response to the Covid-19 pandemic (March 2020), One Vision is a community project which provides practical support to vulnerable individuals and families in the district of Watford. Its status as a charitable organisation (November 2020), further enhanced it's outreach capacity.
Some key highlights of One Vision's work, includes the following:
- 95 dedicated volunteers: (including 21 youth volunteers)
- Over 100,000 meals delivered to date
- In excess of 20,000 grocery bags delivered to date
- 3.5 plus tonnes of food provided to the Watford community over the last 10 months
- 350 regular families are provided for
- 22 schools helped with essential items, with increasing demand during half-term and school holidays
The visit of HRH Prince Richard Duke of Gloucester enabled him to meet with the key individuals from the diverse community groups served by One Vision, it's Patrons, Board of Trustees, Executive members and volunteers leading the operational aspects of outreach to the community.
Capturing some of the reflections on the day, the following attendees shared their thoughts and observations:
Pastor Ian Sweeney, British Union Conference President
"To an outsider, the visit of HRH Prince Richard Duke of Gloucester could be viewed as the catalyst for bringing together so many people from different faith groups, ethnicities, and political persuasions. However, this view would miss out on the fact that the work of One Vision has brought diverse communities together to work in a shared purpose. It was humbling to see that the work of One Vision was given recognition by this royal visit."Enoch Kanagaraj, One Vision Founder and CEO
"I am really grateful and honoured to HRH Duke of Gloucester for his visit to One Vision, and his appreciation to our volunteers who are working tirelessly helping the vulnerable in our community. The royal visit and His Royal Highness' kind words has encouraged us and boosted our energy."
Lord Lieutenant Robert Voss
Giving an overview of the day, the Lord Lieutenant states:
"I was delighted to welcome HRH The Duke of Gloucester to a full day in Watford. Starting with a visit to One Vision gave The Duke the chance to meet a great many different voluntary organisations who have actively supported the community during the pandemic. He was entertained by Electric Umbrella in the sunshine and even joined in with the music making."
Additional reflections were made by other key guests as follows:
Dean Russell, MP for Watford
"It was an immense pleasure to meet HRH The Duke of Gloucester at One Vision today. I am immensely proud to be a trustee for One Vision, and have always been inspired by the incredible work they do every day of the week for the community. It was good to be able to show His Royal Highness how fortunate we are to have this amazing facility in Watford and to pay tribute to the staff team and volunteers who are a real asset to the community."
Peter Taylor, Mayor for Watford
"I am really grateful to The Duke of Gloucester for visiting Watford. Local volunteers and charities have done so much to support those in need during this difficult period. It was great to be able to come together like this and for His Royal Highness to hear about the brilliant work of One Vision and other groups."
Dr Emmanuel Osei, South England Conference President
"I have always admired and appreciated the aspirations and work of One Vision. When coming into office at our Session in 2019, we adopted the theme Making Disciples: Building Communities. Our emphasis was to come out of our church comfort zones and interact with our communities. We encouraged our pastors to take the lead in going to their local authorities / councils and introducing themselves and making it known that their church is ready to work collaboratively with them wherever there is a need. One Vision has and continues to demonstrate what we should be about when it comes to integrating with the local community and ministering to their needs.
"It was an honour to be invited to meet HRH The Duke of Gloucester. I stood with a group of faith leaders, a Rabbi, a Sikh, and two Adventist ministers. It was a privilege to share with the Duke the work we do as a Conference and our relationship with One Vision. He was impressed with the facilities of the Stanborough Park church and asked whether all our churches in the South England Conference were just as elaborate. I responded that out of our 250 congregations within the SEC, Stanborough Park is one of our prestigious buildings and is in constant use by the community.
"I also had the opportunity to meet different members of the community who were associated with One Vision. It was encouraging to note that despite our differences, we had more in common when it came to working together and meeting the needs of the community. When one is hungry, irrespective of our beliefs or faith group, we need food. One Vision is there to bring us together to satisfy that need. For this reason, I believe One Vision is fulfilling the Christian principle in loving our neighbour like ourselves."The diverse reflections of the day highlighted the significant difference that One Vision has contributed to community life, prior to, and during the pandemic. As such, their recognition and affirmation by the royal visit, is well deserved. We are grateful to God for the exceptional work of this charity.
The event concluded with the unveiling of a plaque to commemorate the Duke of Gloucester's visit.
May the reach and influence of One Vision, continue to positively impact lives, for both time and eternity.
Watch video highlights here