Growing Lives grants boost for South West churches and charities

Three charities and churches in the South West will benefit from a share of more than £37,000 of Growing Lives 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 and Christian charities 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 three in the South West.

These include Holy Epiphany Church in Bournemouth, Dorset, which will use its £12,500 grant to help deliver phase two of its ambitious plans to refurbish its church hall into a hub that can be used seven days a week by a wide range of community groups, including the pre-school and youth groups. New accessible and children’s toilet facilities are being added, along with a pre-school office and staff facilities.

Allchurches Trust Grants Officer, Paul Playford, said: “Allchurches Trust is delighted to fund these works at Holy Epiphany Church. The project is a great example of how a church can provide straightforward but invaluable support to families, children and young people while building a solid future foundation for its community and its church.”

A Growing Lives grant of £20,000 has also been given to South West Youth Ministries (SWYM). The charity has been training youth workers and running events and residentials that have reached 20,000 young people across the south west for the last 20 years. They currently partner with 200 churches.

Recent research showed that children in families from disadvantaged backgrounds are much less likely to send their child away overnight. SWYM, therefore, plans to use its grant to host two days where children from these families can enjoy a taster of two of their residential programmes, either Live Football or Geek Factory (gaming). The grant will help fund equipment for the taster days, including balls, cones, water bottles, bibs, projectors, screens and gaming consoles.

The Church of St Michael’s and All Angels in Bishop’s Cleeve, Gloucestershire, will use its £5,200 grant to enhance its existing work with local families by adding storage space with an in-built sink in the south transept. This will enable the equipment used for the eight different sessions the church runs with children and young people each week to be safely stored, as well as make cleaning up after craft sessions much easier. The church also visits four local primary schools as part of the Open the Book scheme.

Grants of up to £25,000 are available under Growing Lives 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. SWYM-South-West-Youth-Ministries-Woodbury-Salterton-Devon-2.jpg#asset:1190