Around £1.4 million pounds has now been given to more than 140 projects across the UK and Ireland sincetheGrowing Lives programme launched in May 2019; aimed at enabling churches and Christian charities to feel more confident, inspired and better equipped to help young people reach their potential, both spiritually and in other ways, through active participation in church and community life.
Allchurches Trust chairman, Tim Carroll, said:
“Our Growing Lives grants programme aims to equip and empower churches and Christian charities to engage more young people more regularly, forging lasting relationships that provide an opportunity for individual, family, church and community flourishing, which will be more important than ever in life after lockdown.
“It’s been inspiring to hear how so many of our beneficiaries are evolving their model, support and activities to continue to provide practical and pastoral care and support in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, particularly where that support is focused on the mental health and wellbeing of young people, who are so vulnerable to feeling isolated from friends and family. We thank churches and Christian charities for their rapid response to this issue, but also for those projects planned for a future when young people can re-connect both inside and outside of online communities. We’re proud to help fund this work through Growing Lives.”
From Storybooks to ships, Allchurches’ latest round of Growing Lives funding will support projects which will bring a burst of colour and creativity, enriching the lives of children, young people and their families – some of which feature in this video.
Youthspace – St John’s Church, Waterloo
St John’s Church is embarking on a £5 million refurbishment of its church and crypt. With the help of a £25,000 Growing Lives grant, the crypt will become, ‘Youthspace’ – a place of refuge for local young people between the ages of 13 to 19. It will be a space they can call their own, giving them the opportunity to explore their potential and grow in the community. St John’s Church also plan to work with 15 young people who might otherwise find themselves vulnerable to drugs, crime and gang culture.
British Youth for Christ – digital outreach
The Christian charity, British Youth for Christ, interact with over 250,000 young people face to face and over 1.5 million young people through virtual/digital channels each year.
An £8,000 Growing Lives grant will fund the equipment needed for the charity to produce at least six high quality videos each week, reaching young people where they are, helping tackle loneliness, anxiety and low self-esteem and bringing a positive message about the difference that Jesus can make to their lives.
Kingdom Crew – Ross Baptist Church, Ross-on-Wye
‘Kingdom Crew’ reaches out to the local community by running inclusive family events, providing food, fun and faith. The Ross Baptist Church programme connects with families, especially those who struggle to feed and provide activities for their children in the school holidays. Kingdom Crew offer a helping hand, with exciting activities and a cafe open every Wednesday in the school break – alongside a “Messy Church” every Sunday. Allchurches is helping to support and grow their ‘Kingdom’ by kitting out their crew with £300 funding.
Wordpower – Society of St Vincent de Paul, Dublin
Wordpower is a project based in Dublin, distributing new children’s books to families in disadvantaged areas of Ireland – an even more pressing need with schools closed as a result of the Coronavirus lockdown. Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) want to encourage children to begin enjoying books at an early age, delving into the magic of fiction and experiencing all the benefits that come with reading – including support to be ‘school ready’ and the confidence reading brings.
A volunteer from Wordpower said: “One little girl I visited saw me coming with my bag of books and she ran up to me, so excited, grabbed the bag and ran off to read before I’d even reached the house!”
A £25,000 Growing Lives grant will allow SVP to supply books to 3000 families in 2020, 6000 in 2021 and 9000 in 2022.
Tysoe Methodist Church, Warwickshire – All aboard the Jolly Roger!
Allchurches Trust funding of £3,450 will help Tysoe Methodist Church to construct a wooden building in the shape of a boat, which will act as a meeting place and play facility for young people in the local and surrounding areas. The boat will be moored next to the church and will be the perfect vessel for storytelling, worship and play, encouraging more young people into the church community.
Under Growing Lives, grants of up to £25,000 are available 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, as long as it is for a different project. You can find out more at www.allchurches.co.uk/growinglives