Together For Change has supported many different projects throughout the diocese, some of the successful stories are shown below:
St Michael’s church in Arley have been awarded a grant from Together For Change of £2,500 to establish a nursery for 2 hours a day, 5 days a week. ‘Jelly Beans Nursery’ will support the residents living in the village of Arley, and will stand alongside the other successful community projects run at the church.
Betel of Britain received a Church Urban Fund Grant of £4700 to start a tree surgery social enterprise working with ex-addicts, teaching them new skills in tree surgery whilst giving them practical and emotional support to re-build their lives. The grant has paid for the purchase of new equipment and training.
All Saints Chilvers Coton is working in partnership with All Saints CE Primary School & Nursery to deliver two new projects for which £5,291 grant has been awarded. One is a 'Slow Cooker Project' to help parents cook cheaply and nutritionally. The other is 'Provision of basic literary skills' for parents, particularly mothers in travelling community, which will help them in their day-to-day living and enable them to support their child's learning, especially homework.
Tile Hill Church Together have successfully been awarded £10,900 to employ a part time development worker who will be responsible for establishing a job club (launched in January 2016) and then establish a community money advice advice for the residents of Tile Hill. The churches have also secured a Diocesan Mission Fund grant to employ the worker as part of a collective 3 year project.
In Autumn 2015 All Saints' church Bedworth opened a professionally staffed Dementia Café, for people with dementia and their carers. Alzheimer's Society are providing two members of staff, working alongside volunteers from the church. TFC has supported this with a £2,500 grant.
In April 2016, Christchurch in Cheylesmore is launching a Luncheon Club in partnership with the Langley House Trust. This will combine training in catering for ex-offenders at LHT's Murray Lodge, with provision of lunch at Christchurch for isolated elderly people. The pilot project is being supported by TFC through a £6,500 grant, and is for an initial period of 6 months.
Pathway is a mentoring scheme that sets people free from addictions and other lifestyle problems so that they can achieve a stable life. Pathway has been operated successfully by St Mary's Leamington for many years, and is now being rolled out to other churches. A worker from St Mary's Pathway Team will work with volunteers from Crown Community Church in Lillington, which includes an area of intense deprivation.
Coffee Tots (part of Urban Hope Church) are setting up a tailored package of support for (a) vulnerable parents struggling with poor mental health and for (b) young/teenage parents. This new package will include sessions in money management/budgeting, help with applying for and getting a job, and a course in parenting skills. TFC has awarded a grant of £2,391 and the project should launch after Easter 2016.
Together For Change are pleased to pilot a new initiative that places Family Link Workers in both a school and local church to support families in need. The aim is to ‘parent the parents’ and work alongside families providing practical support in areas such as healthy eating, budgeting, food preparation, parenting classes, family routines and pastoral care. The Family Link Workers are based in Willenhall, Binley and Allesley Park and funding has been provided by the Multi Academy Trust, Together For Change and the Bishops Mission Fund, to the sum of £52,500, to enable the projects to take place. The aim is to strengthen links between the school and church in an attempt to gain learning on how best to support families in need. If the project is successful we will seek further funding and opportunities to develop the initiative across the diocese.
To find out who are Family Link Workers are and what they do, follow this link - https://www.cuf.org.uk/family-link-workers
Together For Change is committed to supporting 4 or 5 major regeneration schemes in churches that fall into the bottom 20% of deprivation and in areas that have had very little community regeneration funding.
Together For Change are committed to supporting the following regeneration schemes and can provide support, advice, research and funding applications. To date the following churches have been identified by the TFC board of Directors as ‘major projects’ they are willing to support:
The Parish of Radford - In Radford we are committed to supporting St. Francis of Assisi, with their community regeneration initiatives and are looking to re-develop their current building.
St. Catherine's Church, Stoke Aldermoor - Since early 2014 St Catherine's has been operating out of a cluster of portacabins on a new site in Acorn Street. These premises have temporary planning consent until the end of September 2018, so plans need to push ahead for putting up a permanent building, and TFC are providing technical support with this. This small church in an Urban Priority Area has limited resources of its own, so the Bishop's Mission Fund has provided £10,000 in order to help with project development. It is hoped that the New St Catherine's can become a permanent focal point within the community, continuing to house a wide range of activities and services serving the local community.
Together For Change are pleased to announce that we have given £2,000 to E-Wheels to enable them to continue their good work in Harbury. E-Wheels is a service initiated by Harbury Energy Initiative, a low carbon group for the village of Harbury. The service provides free transport to people referred by local social agencies, such as food banks, surgeries, child centres and others, in order for them to reach important appointments that would otherwise prove financially or physically difficult for them.
A grant of £1,623 has been given towards creating a “Place of Welcome” which will offer unconditional welcome to the diverse mixture of students, young families and elderly who reside in the parish. Currently there are limited opportunities in this neighbourhood for meeting up in an informal atmosphere. The café will help build a sense of community between these disparate groups, who currently lack a place to meet together. In particular the space will be used to reach out to the many international students who live in the area, but who often feel isolated. The café will be a platform by which the church can become more connected to its community, and from which other projects may be developed serving local residents e.g. “Clothes Bank”& or CAP.
TFC has provided £1,800 towards further development of a Friendship Club for the elderly. They envisage developing a wide range of activities over the next 6 months, embracing such things as:
- Training in computer literacy, and budgeting in order to tackle fuel poverty
- Coordinating health checks and exercise regimes
- Setting up volunteer transport to bring people to the Friendship Club, together with coach trips to the seaside
- Providing food, as many of the elderly turn up hungry
To support this activity their team of volunteers will be expanded to include drivers, people to help prepare/serve food, and also befrienders who will be involved in home visits.