Allchurches Trust funding provides Vitamin Sea to a range of communities and generations

In August Allchurches Trust donated £164,075 to 48 churches, charities and schools. Here’s a snapshot of just a few of the fascinating projects and worthwhile work by grass-roots charities and churches around the UK which will now benefit from our grants.

Rochdale Children’s Moorland Home In the 1890s, Rochdale was a wretched place at the heart of the Industrial Revolution. The streets were full of horse manure and the air was filled with smog from factory chimneys. The River Roach was so polluted that fish hadn’t lived there for decades. Poverty was rife among the working classes and The Voluntary Aid Society was established to provide breakfasts, clogs and stockings to deprived and hungry children living in the filth-ridden streets.

In 1894, local philanthropist, Robert Turner, offered the Society £20 to establish a ‘Poor Children’s Home’ on Clay Clough Farm to provide destitute children with up to two weeks respite from their urban life, with a holiday at Moorland Home comprising of “Fresh Air, Fresh Food and Good Fun”. In 1924, another philanthropist, Fred Lye, donated his 14-acre farm to the charity, from where Rochdale Children’s Moorland Home still operates today.

Since Victorian times, the ethos at the heart of Moorland Home hasn’t changed: the charity offers one week holidays, providing fresh food, fresh air and fun to between 300 and 400 children from Rochdale and its surrounds each year. Children who live in poverty or stressed circumstances, and who otherwise would never have a holiday, are invited or referred by Government services or other agencies. The home receives no government or council grants and Allchurches is delighted to have provided a recent grant of £4,500 to help with refurbishment and restoration of the external fabric of the Grade II listed building.

Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest, London (QVSR) began as the Seamen’s Mission of the Methodist Church in 1843. Originally known as the Wesleyan Seamen’s Mission, its aim was to minister to the spiritual needs and promote the social and moral welfare of seafarers and their families in the vicinity of the Port of London. By 1905, the original building was extended by another floor to increase the number of beds from 25 to 60. During the First World War, 20,000 unarmed Merchant Seamen lost their lives and a War Memorial Wing, with another 100 beds, was opened in 1931. Welfare services and accommodation capacity continued to grow, along with community, companionship and pastoral care.

Throughout the 20th Century, the QVSR continued to expand its capacity, services and welfare provision, linking up with international Seamen’s Missions to provide a ‘home from home’ for sailors and seamen from all parts of the world when they need it. The charity’s role in supporting adults who are in need of accommodation, companionship, legal, medical and welfare support continues to grow. 16321_QVSR-Chapel.jpg#asset:1196

Allchurches Trust has granted £12,000 towards the creation of 16 new en-suite bedrooms within the QVSR’s Shelter for Seafarers, supporting both active and retired ex-servicemen and other adults in need of accommodation.

St Tyfaelog’s Church, Pontlottyn, Caerphilly. St Tyfaelog’s Church is in an area of high deprivation in Gwent, Wales, where there is a local lack of facilities for all age groups and a recognised lack of inter-generational understanding. Allchurches has provided a grant to St Tyfaelog’s Church to purchase equipment for the church’s new ‘Linking Generations’ project. Local teenagers will teach basic computer and social networking skills to older people in the community, working towards the production of an oral history website about the development of the Church in Wales. The church has undertaken extensive consultation with the local comprehensive secondary school and excited participants are ready and committed to begin.

The ‘Linking Generations’ project will enable young people to develop skills in historical research, oral history work, producing video interviews, communication, design, and website production. They will work in partnership with older participants who will gain much needed computer and social networking skills, taught by the students, to enable them to better stay in contact with family and friends who have moved away from Pontlottyn over the years. An offshoot of the project will be the establishment of an internet café at St Tyfaelog’s, which it is hoped will become a community hub for Pontlottyn and a place that is well used by all generations and where friendships can continue to grow.

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