What people say about us

“I came to the advocacy service when I was really stressed out and I’d had to leave work due to stress and inaccessibility. I needed help accessing benefits.

“Lynn managed to be encouraging and build my confidence while not minimising my difficulties. She struck a really good balance between doing things I couldn’t manage and supporting me to do things for myself.

“Overall it felt like a really personalised approach rather than having to fit into someone else’s tick boxes.

“A fantastic service that I would recommend to anyone facing similar problems.”

‘Ashley’ (name changed), after working with our Advocacy Officer, 2024

“Mental Health Services often try to manage and shrink fears but Grapevine focuses on letting safe grow. I think it is easier to make safe grow than to shrink fear.”

Help and Connect participant ‘E’, following six months working with a Grapevine connector, 2023

“Grapevine team members are intentionally reflective about the work that they carry out, thinking about what joy they are taking from it and how meaningful it is to them.

“I saw power and action from a completely different perspective, and it has made me feel optimistic about the future of sustainability. This experience has changed my understanding of what it means to have an impactful career.”

Bel Govier, student intern from University of Warwick, 2023

“The team believe giving a more rounded picture is important for helping to change perceptions and attitudes – it helps people with learning disabilities to be seen as people first and foremost.”

National Development Team for Inclusion, case study regarding Grapevine’s Health Team, 2022

“The quiz was really informative and interactive. Many of the statistics were quite shocking. It was a session that allowed me to reflect on how to improve within my role. This was an invaluable session.”

NHS professional, following learning disability awareness training from our Health Team, 2022

“It feels great to represent the minority that doesn’t always have the chance to grow. Grapevine (New Vibes) were integral in me being able to connect to my soul’s calling.

“I’ve never experienced a chance like this to thrive but they were the key to open those doors and I have full respect for the representation they give to members by being guiding hands along the journey.

“I’m still growing but I know where my soul belongs to Grapevine (New Vibes).”

Bengy, community changemaker and also part of Coventry City of Culture’s leadership team, 2022

“Thank you Grapevine and the inspirational Jessica Pinson for all your support, mentoring and inspiration, during the 12 weeks (68 hours) of deliberation, debate and research to put together the People’s Declaration for Global Assembly – which we presented to world leaders at the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow.

“This was a life-changing opportunity for me to be the only UK representative amongst 99 others from across the world. I will be eternally grateful to you! An absolute honour and privilege to represent the citizen’s voice.”

Sanjay Jagatia, charity leader and local citizen, 2022

“I am in awe of their collective minds and hopeful hearts. Grapevine Coventry and Warwickshire is a power house and it feels like my second home.”

Stephanie Wong, founder of Act Build Change, 2022

“It is affirming to see that even under the extreme circumstances of the pandemic, Grapevine was able to retain a forwards-looking, hopeful and loving outlook. Your think-pieces and forums have been so thoughtfully done and clearly are all underpinned by real, valuable, feet on the ground (even if often, necessarily over the phone or Zoom) work.”

Jennifer Oatley, grants manager at Tudor Trust, 2021

“Loved working alongside the team this year as part of the Reform The Norm, Story of Us workshops.”

Jude Habib, founder of sounddelivery charity, 2021

“Spending time with and learning from Grapevine has been one of my highlights of 2021.”

Iona Lawrence, loneliness and connection expert, 2021

“A wonderful inspirational man [young activist Joey Mander] and a tribute to all you wonderful members of CYA (Coventry Youth Activists) and Grapevine’s dedicated staff. Always remembering the help and endless support your staff provide which enriches the lives of Coventry citizens. Go Grapevine, you are the best!”

Alison, on Facebook, 2021

“I referred my niece-in-law’s brother last year after he had some difficulty online and was feeling very isolated and didn’t have any friends of his own. His Mum has contacted today to say how fantastic Grapevine have been… he is really enjoying the sessions and has made some wonderful friends. She said it has changed his life.”

Karen, Coventry City Council worker regarding Help and Connect, 2021

“Thanks for making a difference to Coventry and Warwickshire. You make me smile but, most importantly, you give me and hundreds of other people and communities hope.”

Sus, on Twitter, 2020

“I’ve never experienced such participation and energy in a Zoom session of any kind. You can feel the community, connection, hope, empowerment, and, dare I say, love…” (feedback on our monthly Collaboration Station)

Seth Reynolds, Principal for Systems Change at NPC, 2020

“Grapevine’s work is so interesting and inspiring – wish more funders were thinking about approaches to scale that could be providing resources to facilitate these kinds of small, locally embedded orgs to connect people and mobilise power – results are in the human flourishing!”

Sophie Kendall, Nesta UK, 2020

“How to move from community spirit to community power is the vital challenge for the second half of 2020. Grapevine and the people of Coventry are setting the pace.”

David Robinson, The Relationships Project, 2020

“We love the fab things this movement [Connecting for Good Cov] creates!”

Wolverhampton for Everyone, 2020

“Deeper relationships aren’t just a nice to have. They’re the making of all that our governments and communities want to see change. Grapevine are the relationship experts.”

Matthew McStravick, Creative Director at Deepr Design, 2020

“I am so proud of all three journey guides, they have gone above and beyond for this project. To me, Danielle has gone above and beyond for me, she means a lot to me and I can’t thank her enough. This project is an inspiration and I have learnt so much about myself. It’s about finding your right journey guide who you can open up to.”

Joanne Finney, Accelerate participant and Grapevine Trustee, 2020

“I wanted to let you know what an impact the co-production work for the autism strategy has had on me. I’m thrilled at what has been achieved and the feedback from others. I can’t imagine working any other way as a commissioner!”

Olivia Horgan, Integrated Transformation Delivery Lead at Warwickshire County Council, 2020

“It was a total pleasure to meet the amazing people involved with Grapevine and hear about the Collaboration Station, Creative Kindness and meeting the local minister of cake! Who knew?! Inspiring. Such great stuff going on here from BSL to drumming. Using cafes, GP surgery and local library as a base. And a shout out for local community organisers.”

Baroness Barran MBE, Minister for Civil Society, 2020

“One of the best charities I know. Great choice Baraoness Barran and good to know you are out visiting charities and championing their work. Just what the sector needs!”

Sue Tibballs, CEO of Sheila McKechnie Foundation, 2020

“Thank you to Grapevine for hosting us on Friday. It was a pleasure to talk to your staff, volunteers and members of the community about the wonderful work you do in Coventry.”

Derval O’Brien, Funding Manager at The National Lottery Community Fund, 2020

“Grapevine, you’re a blessing to me… Grapevine feels like my freedom, my freedom to be me and not having barriers stopping me from being involved in groups, events and great things that motivate me.

“…I’m surrounded by people free of judgement and full of kindness… to reassure me… and encourage me to share my ideas and show me they have worth and value and are genuinely heard.”

Joey, disability rights activist, 2019

“I’ve loved getting to know this amazing organisation over the past year. I’ve learned lots from their unassuming, humble and quietly confident work that places relationships at the heart of community in Coventry and Warwickshire.”

Iona Lawrence, The Cares Family, 2019

“I always come away from Grapevine with a hopeful heart.”

Meena Bharadwa, Locality, 2019

“They’re bold, brave and kind! And have been for the last 25 years. Social prescribing principles, without the ‘prescribing’.

“So proud to call these guys my friends and to be able to support and promote in a small way the fantastic, genuine co-production enabled by Grapevine!

“An extraordinary example of a community taking responsibility for its own support networks and mutual help is right here in Coventry.”

Gill Phillips, health and social care changemaker and creator of Whose Shoes? on Twitter, 2019

“Congratulations on your 25th birthday and thank you for your work with Forum Health Centre. Here’s to the next 25!”

Forum Health Centre, on Twitter, 2019

“Congratulations to Grapevine on their 25 years of amazing social action and support.”

Theatre Absolute, on Twitter, 2019

“Grapevine is amazing. Through some of their staff and work, I’ve met close to fifty new friends if not more. Well done to you all, you amazing people. Keep up the great work.”

Alan, Self Care Social participant, 2019

“Thank you Grapevine for showing me I can be myself and that we all have a right to socialise and enjoyment in the community even if we need a bit of support and encouragement.”

Joey, disability rights activist, 2019

I would like to thank you for all your hard work towards getting Libby her job. I am so proud of her and very appreciative of all your work on helping and believing in her. Thank you from a very proud Mum.

Parent of an Accelerate participant, 2019

“We are thrilled to award Grapevine Coventry and Warwickshire the Small Charity Big Impact prize and congratulate them on their amazing work.”

Pauline Broomhead CBE, CEO of the FSI, 2019

“You are amazing, the amount of people including L-W-O and me personally, you have supported over the last few years is truly amazing.”

Gaynor Leech, Lymph-What-Oedema Community, 2019

“I came to Grapevine as a service user, I grew to believe in their work and saw how much it helped our family to grow and change our thinking.”

Mel, Grapevine Deputy CEO, 2019

“People who work together with the community to improve lives. Awesome idea.”

Tracy, Help and Connect participant, 2019

“Fantastic bunch of community builders in Coventry. Using stories to enable communities to combat isolation and loneliness. Love them!”

Eira Hale, 2019

“Congratulations to all the Grapevine team – you do wonderful work and find engaging and creative solutions. You have also helped other organisations shift their mindset on many occasions.”

David Moorcroft OBE, 2019

“Fantastic experience for our social work students – thanks to everyone in the H Team.”

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Coventry University, 2019

“Civil society holds the key to tackling some of society’s most pressing problems – but we need to learn from and scale the very best approaches. Grapevine is the very best.”

Sue Tibballs OBE, The Sheila McKechnie Foundation, 2018

“I’m proud of the difference Grapevine Coventry and Warwickshire is trying to make in a UK that just keeps getting tougher for vulnerable people.”

Andrea Mbarushimana, Help and Connect worker, 2018

“Grapevine actually take a person centred approach and care about the context. You are the last people on earth I would label as ‘tick box’ administrators.

“Grapevine are innovative when necessary, but willing to engage with existing provision.

“Grapevine are gentle. Caring…. You give a damn. It matters to me that you can talk about feelings and this informs the work that Grapevine does.”

Andrew, Grapevine participant, 2018

“I think what matters most to me about Grapevine’s work is that nobody is alone and everybody gets a chance to explore life’s offerings and be a part of something while being treated with respect and recognition that just because you may or may not have a ‘disability’ or another different form of struggle in life, it doesn’t mean exclusion from life’s adventures.”

Leigh, Grapevine participant, 2018

“What I like about Grapevine is the clarity, simplicity and integrity of its approach. It seems to me to be rooted in an absolute commitment to the person who needs help. A belief in their value, their potential and their rights, actually.

“They build relationships with people that allow a different kind of conversation to take place and then really listen, and think – how can we help?”

“Then, there is the sheer warmth and openness of all those I have met. They are just lovely people. Doing good things.”

Sue Tibballs, CEO Sheila McKechnie Foundation, April 2018

“Grapevine has helped both my family and myself to find a new outlook for our lives. I have also witnessed several other transformational journeys as Grapevine staff have walked side by side with someone.

“These relationships change over time until that person is strong enough to carve their own journey and even then staff will be whooping it up from the side lines! These relationships grown both organically and intentionally but never forced.”

Melissa, Grapevine participant, 2018

“The movement we’ve seen in Coventry is revolutionising public health. We can’t wait to see what Grapevine do next!”

The Social Change Agency, June 2017

“I would highly rate Grapevine which is why I am currently in my fourth year contracting with them to deliver “Independent Support” on behalf of the Department of Education. They have developed and trailed new ways of working with families and young people where the outcomes have built confidence and resilience. The Grapevine approach has also been showcased by government as exemplary practice.”

Martin Bull, Assistant Director and Independent Support programme manager, National Children’s Bureau, June 2017

“After attending fabulous Innovation Factory training, I felt motivated… I found it very difficult, but I found my story.”

Ju Walton-Evans, February 2017

“The Primary Care Awareness session was a massive success. The evaluations are fantastic. There were so many positive comments about Grapevine. One of the best things about your support is that so many people who attend have said they are going to change the way they do things back at their GP practice.”

Health Specialist Nurse, Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust Learning Disability Service, 2017

“The kids make friends between themselves, that never happens. Normally they’re only ever brought together when the services want to give them the same treatment, like anger management or something. You don’t make friends like that.”

Parent of a young person with a learning disability, on ‘Wave Rave’

“Grapevine is a dynamic and innovative small organisation which works with an obvious passion for its service users and communities. It has shown excellent standards in all areas.”

Kevin Smith, Quality assessor from NCVO, 2015

“Grapevine builds on the strengths, networks and family support people already have, to help them change their own lives.”

Lisa Nandy MP, then Shadow Minister for Civil Society, Guardian Newspaper, February 2014

“What is outstanding about Grapevine and the team is that they deliver over and above the contract’s expectations and have a really healthy attitude to partnership engagement and working across health and social care and wider community and work at breaking down barriers and promoting integration, which is entirely the approach we endorse at NHS England.”

Ranjit Senghera, Senior Manager for Equalities and Health Inequalities and National Lead for Inclusion Health, NHS England, 2014

“Since her hate crime assault, Sarah said: “I needed some support to know what to do. I was scared and stopped going places.” Since attending sessions she feels safe to go out again, meet new people and has the skills to cope. “I’m now confident and understand more about hate crime and what to do if it happened again,” she continues.

‘Sarah’, 2014