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Connecting communities,
helping others.

We encourage self-development and a sense of purpose by bringing communities together in a collective effort, rebuilding confidence, developing skills and reigniting the potential of those in need, to accomplish our charity’s objectives to bring relief to those in need.

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Connecting communities,
helping others.

We encourage self-development and a sense of purpose by bringing communities together.  In a collective effort, we are rebuilding confidence, developing skills and reigniting the potential of those in need, to accomplish our charity’s objectives to bring relief to those in need.

Get involved

Engaging communities,
inviting you.

Engaging communities,
inviting you.

Shine

Explore

Rediscovering confidence, reigniting potential.

Spring 2023 Dates: Tuesdays, 21st & 28th Feb. 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th March.
Venue: Richmond Library Annexe, Quadrant, Richmond, TW9 1DU

Explore is our six week personal development programme designed to enable adults experiencing social exclusion develop their practical skills and confidence, offering opportunities to successfully establish themselves in their local community.

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Shine

– where everybody knows your name!

Announcement of training details coming soon.

Shine provides barista and hospitality training for those experiencing isolation and worklessness, enabling them to explore options towards employment within the hospitality industry whilst building their skills and confidence.

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Table of Hope

Inspiring hope and building friendships.

Table of Hope is our Explore monthly community invitation to a nutritious lunch at a communal table within a safe, interactive space – reducing isolation and enhancing wellbeing.

Personal experiences from Table of Hope gatherings:

“At the Table there is no-one above you and there is no-one below you.  In our society we value platforms for people to stand on but at a Table there is no platform.  At Tables we are one and we see each other.”  Matt

“Delighted, Inspired, Moved.” Steve

“It’s an invitation to community – a wonderful atmosphere with a real community feel.” Andy

“Table of Hope is a place to meet people and because I have cancer, I like to come somewhere that gives me hope.” Bernard

Get involved

July 2021 – July 2022

SHINING SPONSORS

Steps

Community connections.

Regular, socially engaging activities including outings and trips to local places of interest under the banner of our Explore programme.  Steps also invites participants to “give back” to our local community and have included Be Richmond litter picking days, Habitats & Heritage clean up days and Kew Gardens work parties – painting and re-organising their community allotment.

“We are delighted that Shepherd’s Star are joining us – an amazing team with such positive attitudes and a huge help…Genuinely couldn’t do without you guys.” – Jane Rogers, Kew Gardens Community Horticultural Learning Co-ordinator.

A little step may be the beginning of a great journey.

Get involved
We are a community movement operating in the Greater Richmond and Twickenham Borough – serving communities locally.

Shepherd’s Star a friend to those in need.

We 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.

Building relationships based on shared values and respect, Shepherd’s Star collaborates with volunteers and charitable partner organisations, supporting social inclusion, inspiring hope and empowering individuals, together cultivating a community of kindness.

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Some friendships don’t last for long, but there is one loving friend who is joined to your heart – closer than any other!

Ancient Proverb

What we stand for.

Our mission

is to bring communities together, supporting those in need through connections, friendships and development programmes.

Our vision

is for a world where everyone has the opportunity to be a connected, valued and contributing member of society.

Our values

at the heart of everything we do, is our belief in people, inclusivity, collaboration and empathy for all.

Who we are

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”
– African proverb

Desiree Shepherd

Desiree Shepherd

Co-Founder and Director

Ever since she was young, Desiree has had a heart for her community and creating opportunities of provision for those in need. Co-founder of two charities - one in South Africa and another in the UK - Desiree is a community connector, passionate about building meaningful networks across different cultures and socio-economic backgrounds. An entrepreneur with experience in both corporate and charity sectors, working in partnership with others to make a difference in the lives of the “one”, is what makes her come alive.
Judy King

Judy King

Trustee

Judy is an NHS public health specialist with a heart for developing and empowering people to live their best lives. Passionate about people and their well-being, Judy brings her years of experience around the world, as a registered nurse and midwife, to Shepherd’s Star. Empathetic and kind, Judy is also a coach and mentor.
Marianne Welsh

Marianne Welsh

Trustee

With a natural gift of coaching and facilitation and background as Senior HR Advisor for Deloitte, executive coach Marianne brings vision and perspective to Shepherd’s Star. Discerning, creative and resourceful Marianne has a knack for expanding potential and encouraging others to dare to dream.
Justin Wingfield

Justin Wingfield

Trustee and Treasurer

A motivated and trusted finance and economics specialist, with over a decade experience as Financial Advisor in Canada and South Africa, Justin brings his financial expertise to Shepherd’s Star. Easy-going and empathetic, Justin enjoys working alongside people of all ages, and looks forward to investing his time and expertise into our Shepherd’s Star community.
Desiree Shepherd

Desiree Shepherd

Founder and Director

Ever since she was young, Desiree has had a heart for her community and creating opportunities of provision for those in need. Co-founder of two charities - one in South Africa and another in the UK - Desiree is a community connector, passionate about building meaningful networks across different cultures and socio-economic backgrounds. An entrepreneur with experience in both corporate and charity sectors, working in partnership with others to make a difference in the lives of the “one”, is what makes her come alive.
Judy King

Judy King

Trustee

Judy is an NHS public health specialist with a heart for developing and empowering people to live their best lives. Passionate about people and their well-being, Judy brings her years of experience around the world, as a registered nurse and midwife, to Shepherd’s Star. Empathetic and kind, Judy is also a coach and mentor.
Marianne Welsh

Marianne Welsh

Trustee

With a natural gift of coaching and facilitation and background as Senior HR Advisor for Deloitte, executive coach Marianne brings vision and perspective to Shepherd’s Star. Discerning, creative and resourceful Marianne has a knack for expanding potential and encouraging others to dare to dream.
Justin Wingfield

Justin Wingfield

Trustee and Treasurer

A motivated and trusted finance and economics specialist, with over a decade experience as Financial Advisor in Canada and South Africa, Justin brings his financial expertise to Shepherd’s Star. Easy-going and empathetic, Justin enjoys working alongside people of all ages, and looks forward to investing his time and expertise into our Shepherd’s Star community.

Stories of Hope

We love to celebrate the successes and triumph of every personal victory.
Finding the inspiration in our Shepherd’s Star community.

Story of Hope

Denise

I grew up in a life of trauma, neglect, and abandonment but I got through it as I promised myself that I would always stay strong.

In adulthood I started my own little family 1 girl and 4 boys sadly losing my 1st born son at 7 weeks.

The lack of support was a big test for me, but I stayed strong and pushed through. My children grew up and went out into the big wide world and I started to realise that I hadn’t created a life for myself but in some way I didn’t really mind that, I had always been a carer at heart. My plan was to help my children bring up their children, to be the best nanny I could be, give them all the nanny love I could give.

Unfortunately, with family relational breakdowns I lost out on seeing some of my grandchildren. I channeled my skills and life experiences into helping others in schools, the community, and individuals with complex needs. I got to a place where I started to question my worth, my purpose, I also realised I hadn’t much time left on this earth, but I have so many things I’d still like to do.

I hit rock bottom and had a break down, several, fighting each one with strength and resilience, and I got through it.
This time however it was different because I connected with Shepherd’s Star who introduced me to some very special people and together, they supported me whenever I needed supporting, they listened, showed interest in my life, gave empathy in what I was going through and showered me with love, boosting my confidence and self-esteem.

At the time of my introduction to Shepherd’s Star, at the ETNA Real Junk Food project, I was volunteering at the project collecting for Fareshare. They intercept food that would otherwise end up in landfill and distribute it to the community.

I was invited to the first Table of Hope that was being hosted at ETNA. The brilliant team at Shepherds Star and community family, arranged the most amazing meal and lovely day for all.

What I witnessed on that day, and continue to see from Shepherd’s Star, is how they give a non-judgmental approach, give everyone the needed time, and speak in a way that gives everyone, hope, strength and reassurance. This continues at every Table of Hope. I was embraced by this and was interested in all that was being offered, the Explore Programme was one programme.

I completed Explore and got the opportunity to join Kew Gardens Discover Horticulture Course meeting the brilliant Jane who has been one of the most encouraging and kind people in the community, inviting me to grow in myself and skill.

Every time I walk into the Kew allotment, I continue to have that same sense of freedom being able to de-stress, focus on a different experience in life, instead of the everyday mundane things I go through. At the allotment I get the opportunity to meet very caring and supportive people, you all know who you are, I call us the Kew Crew. I am now an official Kew community allotment volunteer; Shepherd’s star gave me that opportunity and I thank you all.

I also thank Shepherd’s star for making it possible for me to do the 7 Step Explore workshops run by the inspirational Susie, involving breathing exercises, instilling positive energy and belief in one’s mind body and soul, yoga and workshops with Richmond Furniture Scheme and C.A.B on budgeting.

I learnt how to create my own journal, giving me somewhere to write all my feelings in, so they don’t clog up your brain. I left every week feeling more confident in my worth and being.

I also had the opportunity to do a 4-week course at Marble Hill House, to build confidence whilst learning to become a tour guide. This was a big challenge for me, but I did it and I’m glad I did!

Marble Hill House is a wonderful group of people especially, the kind and welcoming Rachel.

I became a Shepherd’s Star volunteer because I love being involved in things where smiles are put on everyone’s faces especially those who are going through difficult issues in their life’s.

I’ve found my worth again, my purpose is to be happy, do what I love doing, and help making others happy.

Thank you.

Richmond

Celebrating Noel

Noel was offered accommodation in an emergency, paid for by a generous donor to whom we are so grateful.

Noel was offered accommodation in an emergency, paid for by a generous donor to whom we are so grateful.

Noel’s response: "...please pass on my respect for everyone that has helped me in this time of trouble I've had, I feel humbled by the kindness and help you have all gave me.

I never expected this and on back of your kindness I promise I'll do anything to help your course, yours truly.

You’re the light in the dark that I will never forget".

Explore graduate

Remmington

"The courses gave me a reason to get out of bed in the mornings and helped to motivate me during the days I attended."

"I enjoyed my time at the charity Shepherd’s Star and the courses they offered.

The courses gave me a reason to get out of bed in the mornings and helped to motivate me during the days I attended.

During the Discover Horticulture Course at Kew Gardens I discovered I knew more about botany and plants than I thought I did before. I also enjoyed the tours at Kew Gardens. I learnt to work in groups and explain in detail succinctly.

At the Richmond Furniture Scheme, I learnt practical skills like hand-eye coordination in building a planter box...

Click the link below to read the full story.

What our
community says.

We are delighted that Shepherd's Star are joining us in the community allotment - an amazing team with such positive attitudes and a huge help. Genuinely couldn't do without you guys.

JaneKew Community Horticultural Learning

I am honoured to run workshops and be part of the Explore team.

SusannahThe Social Drinking Company

I feel humbled by the kindness and help you have all gave me. I never expected this and on back of your kindness I promise I'll do anything to help your course, yours truly. You’re the light in the dark that I will never forget.

Noel(not his real name)

Shepherd's Star will provide an ideal opportunity for local groups to be linked with each other and supply mutual support.

ValerieRefugees Welcome in Richmond

Desiree is a ball of fire - she is so very connected, knows everyone and has a heart after God. We were delighted to partner with her and the Shepherd's Star team throughout the pandemic. We wish her and Shepherd's Star the very best and will continue to work alongside them in the future.

NickAngel & Crown

I love being able to bake something and know that every week it’s giving someone joy or making them feel special.

DakotaVolunteer

Shepherd's Star is exactly the type of organisation that we love to work with. Their passion for the community is something that we share, and we are delighted to support them whenever we can.

SimonRichmond Furniture Scheme

As a donor, we feel absolutely privileged to be able to play such a small part in helping Shepherd’s Star give their recipients a sense of love and be embraced by their community, feeling valued.

DavideneDonor

Community engagement, supporting each other without judgement and intolerance, needs a North Star. Desiree is the brightest star I have ever met, with a genuine heart to bring people together to help each other.

PhilSupporter

"I have an impression of the night sky with constellations - lots of connections to make something meaningful - this is Shepherd's Star".

GarethMarch 2021

… as and when we gift Shepherd’s Star with funds for those in need we absolutely know that our gift will actually cover the specific needs of the needy rather than say pay vast salaries …

ANNIE, AND DAVID
IN HEAVEN

…as and when we gift Shepherd’s Star with funds for those in need we absolutely know that our gift will actually cover the specific needs of the needy rather than say pay vast salaries …

ANNIE, AND DAVID
IN HEAVEN