Funding boost for Yorkshire churches as Growing Lives grants go to projects helping young people to thrive

Four Yorkshire churches will benefit from a share of more than £47,000 of funding that will help them provide more support for children and young people in their communities.

Allchurches Trust launched its £1 million Growing Lives grants programme in May, aimed at helping churches to build lasting links with local families and support the next generation to reach their potential. It is still open for applications.

Some 21 projects have received funding in the first wave of Growing Lives grants to be awarded, including four in Yorkshire.

These include Hemsworth Methodist Church in West Yorkshire (youth work pictured below), which will use its £25,000 grant to help convert the original worship space of the chapel into a soft play area to give children a safe place to play, and to provide a café that will enable the church to serve healthy meals to young families in an area that has suffered since the closure of the coal mines. The play area will also be run as a social enterprise.

The Growing Lives grant, together with a recent £25,000 grant from the Methodist Insurance Fund, means that more than £300,000 has now been raised towards the £406,850 fundraising target for the project, which also involves plans to convert the current hall into an improved worship space and hub for Hemsworth’s extensive community and children’s work. IMG_3465.JPG#asset:1202

Elizabeth Haigh, from Hemsworth Methodist Church, said: “We feel so blessed by the grants we have received from Allchurches Trust and others. It confirms our belief that we are following God’s plan for our building.”

St Michael’s and All Angels Church in Skellow, South Yorkshire, will use its £6,860 grant to enhance its existing work with local families by creating a new outdoor play area and adding new toilets. The church already runs craft, play and singing sessions for Under-fives, junior choir and an evening tea for primary schoolchildren. The congregation in this ex-mining community have raised £1,000 themselves towards the project.

A £900 grant means St Wilfrid’s Church in Burnsall, North Yorkshire, is close to reaching its fundraising target to add a new children’s area to support its Family Services. This will be particularly important when numbers increase during school holidays, and the area will also be used by the local Church of England School.

A Growing Lives grant of £14,500 is also heading to Primetime at the Vine in Bradford (pictured below and in header image), a charity helping churches to engage with young people aged 13 to 18. They currently provide support and resources to 11 churches in disadvantaged communities in the region, as well as to Wetherby Young Offenders, but would like to expand this work further by replicating their Young Leaders Network across the UK.


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Sir Philip Mawer, chairman of Allchurches Trust, said: “We are delighted with the response to Growing Lives so far, with applications from churches and charities continuing to flow in. It is clear the new programme is fulfilling a very real need in enabling churches to enhance their work with families and we’re delighted to be funding a wide range of projects that will change lives and communities for the better, including these exciting initiatives in Yorkshire.”

Grants of up to £25,000 are available and the amount depends upon the cost of the project and the level of need in the community, ranging from 10% of project cost to 80%. Churches can apply for a grant under this programme even if they have received funding from Allchurches in the last two years. You can find out more here.