New grants for church community projects
Churches keen to help their communities recover from the impact of the coronavirus are being invited to apply for a new grant worth up to £50,000.
Allchurches Trust's new programme, Hope Beyond, aims to enable churches and Christian charities to meet changing needs within their communities as the longer term impact of the pandemic becomes clearer.
Grants of up to £50,000 are available, depending on the cost of the project and level of need in the community.
In developing the Hope Beyond programme, Allchurches Trust carried out an online consultation to understand better what beneficiaries felt the key needs of people of all ages in their communities would be as a direct result of the pandemic.
The Hope Beyond research report showed that more than two-thirds of church respondents expect loneliness and isolation to be the most pressing need in the next three months, with 58% of churches predicting the same when looking a year ahead. The issue of mental health and wellbeing was the second highest rated concern for around half of churches, while many also reported feeling limited by a lack of digital knowledge and/or technology – both within the church and in the wider community.
The Hope Beyond grants programme will look to address these three themes:
- Projects responding to the issues of loneliness and isolation exacerbated by the Coronavirus pandemic where new and/or enhanced support is being proposed.
- Projects focused on growing community resilience and promoting mental and emotional health and wellbeing.
- Projects focused on growing technological capability and resilience and supporting those without online access to get online through training and support.
A spokesperson for Allchurches Trust said, "We’ve been inspired by the many examples already shared with us of our beneficiaries changing their model, support and activities as they look to continue to provide practical and pastoral care and support to the people they help in the most effective way possible.
"In addition to funding capital projects, such as adaptation of buildings and the purchase of equipment, the Hope Beyond programme will also fund project-related salaries and some other revenue costs (to the end of 2021), such as training of staff and/or volunteers. This recognises that many churches and Christian charities are facing significant financial hardship at this time and that additional resource may be required to implement new ways of working and introduce new and/or enhanced support and activities to meet changing need. The programme will not support general ‘business as usual’ running costs."
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