Funding the right to flourish and grow

Allchurches Trust has once again broken its monthly funding record with the small grants committee awarding £324,325 to 95 charities, churches and schools in March 2019.

We were delighted to offer a £10,000 grant to Rainbow Living, a small volunteer-run charity in Exeter, to help them purchase and refurbish a fourth Rainbow House this summer.

The charity was formed out of the care, concern and friendship of a group of parents who came together at Belmont Chapel in 2000. All are parents of young people with varying disabilities and as their friendship developed, the group began to question the future lives, options and security of their children as they grew into adulthood.

In 2006, they formed the Rainbow Living charity and purchased the first Rainbow House in Exeter, adapting it to meet the needs of their adult children and enable them to live independently with choice and support on a self-sustainable basis. There are now three successful Rainbow Houses in Devon, where 15 young adults with learning or physical disabilities are supported to develop independence and live as valued members of the local community.

Allchurches Trust is also funding the redesign of Canon Peter Hall C of E’s school library into a working business centre. Located in the industrial town of Immingham, Lincolnshire, the new business centre will be the hub of this primary school’s innovative focus on making links with the town’s business community to raise pupils’ aspirations and expectations of themselves in future employment.

The school works closely with seven local businesses and parents, it ‘employs’ pupils and focuses on developing skills such as writing job applications, undertaking interviews and managing their ‘pay’. The school also runs a ‘self-employed’ forest company and this year is offering an apprenticeship project.

Sandra Fawn, Head teacher, says: “We are really impacting on the lives of children who are described as ‘deprived or vulnerable’ because of the place where they live. Our pupils are inspiring and amazing and the fact that fixed-term exclusions of pupils have dropped from more than 20 per year historically to zero for the last 3 years, really demonstrates the difference we are making.”

One in four children (15,000) in Milton Keynes are living below the poverty line and since 2015 St Mark’s MK church’s Make Lunch project has served more than 5000 meals to children at risk of going hungry during the school holidays, when free school meals are not available.

We are funding a website for the church’s new St Mark’s Meals project, which will further help its efforts to making sure no child goes hungry in Milton Keynes. St Mark’s Meals will provide emergency meal boxes to schools across the city, which they can, at their discretion, give to pupils who may be part of a family at risk of going hungry that night. The website will allow schools to order boxes online and is an important part of managing and maintaining stock.

Each St Mark’s Meals box contains all the ingredients needed to cook an easy, hot and healthy meal for a family and comes with a recipe card, so families can cook the meal again – even on a tight budget. There are four kinds of box (rice, pasta, kettle and gluten-free), all ingredients are non-perishable, and boxes will also be available for collection on weekends, evenings and during school holidays.