Groundbreaking church-led social action projects

25 NOV 2021

Get to know the latest cohort of projects joining Cinnamon Network’s Incubator programme, as they learn from the experts and develop into easily replicable initiatives which other churches can put into action.

In October 2021, Allchurches announced the latest projects selected for Cinnamon Network’s innovative teaching and coaching programme, which has been supported by £201,440 Allchurches Trust funding.
 
Find out more about each of the projects, and the groundbreaking work they’re doing to support their communities…
 
RunningSpace

RunningSpace uses running as a platform to promote life and beat suicide. Running shoulder to shoulder with people from all walks of life who struggle with thoughts of suicide, the project offers people purpose, hope, and friendship. 
 
RunningSpace helps communities to become able, appropriate, and available to anyone who might be struggling with thoughts of suicide, and hosts regular suicide awareness and prevention training.
 
Currently running in four locations, the project is a blueprint for a worldwide movement of RunningSpaces in church communities.
 
A RunningSpace participant and suicide survivor, said: “The journey’s been long but I can honestly put my hand on my heart and say I’m the happiest I’ve been in a very long time.”
man grinning while out running with woman
KEYS Community Detox

KEYS trains teams based in churches and charities to reach out to their communities and provide life-changing support for those struggling with addictions, primarily to drugs and alcohol. The programme combines medical, spiritual, and community support to help vulnerable people to find lasting freedom. 
 
KEYS vision is to grow its reach and empower more churches and organisations to provide effective addiction support to their community, especially in areas of high deprivation.
 
Chelsea from Eastbourne, said: “I am immensely grateful to KEYS because it was an immediate response to a very immediate, very scary need. I’m living proof today - I’m alive because of this programme.” 

WAVE

Wave creates places, in the heart of churches and communities, where people of all abilities can come together and build relationships. The project works towards mutually beneficial friendships between people with and without learning disabilities, overcoming barriers that have made it hard for families with additional needs to fully integrate into church and community life.
 
A WAVE volunteer, said: “You start off thinking it’s ‘for’ those with learning disabilities then feel personally enriched - you form relationships and realise that it’s actually about ‘being with’ people.”
man and boy smiling
Flourish

Flourish helps young people to thrive and reach their full potential. It does this by equipping partner organisations such as churches and schools to deliver courses to improve young people’s self-esteem, happiness, and improve mental health. Over eight weeks, each young person goes on a journey to give them tools and strategies they can use in their everyday lives and into the future.
 
Flourish’s vision is to impact 100,000 young people’s lives through partnering with like-minded organisations, and want to partner with 300 new schools and churches over the next 10 years.
 
An 11-year-old Flourish participant, said: “Around two years ago my mum had a mental breakdown and it really upset me. Flourish has helped me be more confident and made me think about other things, ‘cause my mum’s ok now and it’s made me think about getting on better in life instead of just thinking about all the sad times I’ve had.” 

FoodSavers Network

During the pandemic, the FoodSavers Network was established to reduce the dependency on foodbanks and free food provision by giving people the opportunity to save food from going to landfill, save on their weekly shop, and save into a recognised credit union scheme. 
 
The vision for the future is to grow across the UK and give people dignity, choice and financial inclusion; and ultimately see a time where the FoodSavers service is no longer needed and food waste is eliminated.
 
A FoodSavers member, said: “I came in feeling suicidal and I am leaving feeling I have HOPE.”
woman carrying food crate into a van
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