Four projects to receive this welcome boost focus on community outreach, connecting with young people, older people and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
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St Aidan’s Church, Basford, Nottinghamshire
Basford is a disadvantaged area with a high level of isolation and loneliness, home to seven large complexes for older people. The church has a long standing commitment for running coffee mornings and lunches to bring the older community together. During Covid, St Aidan’s responded to a request to run a takeaway/delivery service when the restrictions closed the local community café. In this way, the church kept in touch with many local residents and church members and saw the importance of being present, through the simple offer of food and conversation during this extremely challenging time. £3,000 of Benefact Trust funding will support the redevelopment of the kitchen so that the church can continue its efforts and open up the church building for shared meals and encourage local residents to meet, break down barriers and alleviate loneliness.
Chapel of Grace, Bradford, West Yorkshire
Chapel of Grace has always used music as a tool for outreach. In 2009 it held a music outreach session at the local University which led to 50 students joining the church all at once. Once the church secured a building in 2010, it became known in the community as the place to go for Gospel music events. The church kitted out the church with speakers, lights and music equipment and has hosted an array of events and workshops since. As Covid-19 restrictions ease, the church hopes to start holding music events again, but the current equipment is no longer fit for use. A £2,500 grant from Benefact Trust will help to replace the equipment and in doing so bring the community back together for music, faith and fun.
Jedidiah UK, Hertfordshire
Jedidiah is a food charity supporting 5,500 vulnerable families with fortnightly food parcels, having recently delivered its one millionth meal. Earlier this year, Jedidiah moved into its own warehouse in the centre of Hertford. The warehouse comes with a courtyard garden that has the makings to be something beautiful. With the support of £1,500 funding from Benefact Trust, the charity will renovate the garden into a welcoming, safe space for disenfranchised and disadvantaged youths to provide an alternative place for them meet and engage in meaningful volunteer work in the attached foodbank warehouse.
Longford Group Church of Ireland, County Longford
Longford Group consists of five churches in Longford/Leitrim with an international ethnicity of over 10,000 people in the area and a further 40,000 people in the county. With the support of an Benefact Trust grant of £1,500, the group seeks to support, engage and connect with vulnerable people in the community through the restoration of a car. The skills learnt will provide practical training for life and there is an opportunity for shoulder-to-shoulder discipleship and group support.
*Header image – St Aidan’s Café