Over £3.8 million to support communities through COVID-19

09 FEB 2021

Allchurches Trust’s Hope Beyond Programme has now funded over 540 churches and Christian charities throughout the UK and Ireland, enabling them to respond to the changing needs in their communities as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Hope Beyond launched in July 2020 and has been supporting projects focused on tackling loneliness and isolation, improving mental health and wellbeing, and building digital resilience.
 
With the latest round of grants taking the total awarded above £3.8 million, the Hope Beyond programme will close on Monday, February 15 at 12 noon in order for the trustees to reflect on the learning and consider the next phase of Allchurches’ Coronavirus response. You can apply here up until that deadline.
 
In the meantime, here are some of the recent life-changing projects to benefit, with a focus on supporting some of the oldest and youngest members of the community…

Cannon Street Memorial Baptist Church, Birmingham 
 
A £5,500 Hope Beyond grant will support Cannon Street Memorial Baptist to support the older members of its community, who are feeling increasingly isolated as a result of the pandemic. Coronavirus has had a devastating effect on the lives of the older people the church supports, in an area which already has its challenges. Funding will help the church to engage with them in a more cohesive way, through regular telephone calls, IT communication training, and a weekly delivery of a ‘Self Care Box’ containing activities, CDs, DVDs, food and equipment to help keep them safe.
Canon Street Memorial Baptist Church
Church Army, Sheffield 
 
The Church Army’s (CA) Amber Project provides young people with access to counselling and emotional support in a safe, welcoming environment. Throughout the pandemic, CA has responded to the increased need for wellbeing support by phone and through online platforms - piloting several virtual group activities. Sadly, the pandemic has seen many more young people referred to the project with extreme mental health issues, and so the project recognises it needs to grow. A £7,500 grant will support the recruitment of a specialist support worker with experience of working with vulnerable young people, new digital software, and training in the use of digital technologies.
Church Army, Sheffield
St Thomas’ Church, Kensal Town, London 
 
St Thomas’ Church serves an area of extreme social deprivation, largely a BAME community, where many children live in poverty in a community blighted by gang culture and crime. £2,300 of Allchurches Trust Hope Beyond funding will support St Thomas’ to run a free after school club on Fridays, to help struggling parents/carers - who are seeking additional employment to make ends meet – to look for work opportunities. The children can learn new skills and will be surrounded by positive role models, and parents/carers will feel less isolated and know that they have somewhere to turn in these challenging times.
 
InterACT Church and Community Partnership, Leeds 
 
InterAct – an ecumenical partnership based in disadvantaged areas of Leeds – has been working with Leeds Council to respond to local emergency COVID needs, by helping people to access food, essentials, financial advice, welfare and mental health support. During the pandemic they have been forced to close down their weekly youth club, but a £10,900 grant from Allchurches Trust will help InterACT to empower young people to be a part of the community recovery by developing a dedicated space for young people to meet safely, learn and volunteer to serve their community.
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