Willesborough Baptist Church, Ashford, Kent
In 2020, Willesborough Baptist was awarded a Trust Hope Beyond grant to support the development of ‘The Well’ - a community café which has been an enormous success in serving the local community.
The Baptist church wants to build on this success and renovate an old hall to provide an excellent community facility for a range of activities and support services. It will be used as a contact centre where estranged parents can meet their children in a safe environment; a meeting place for pregnant women and those with young babies; a place to expand the church’s youth work; and a night shelter for those experiencing homelessness.
A £2,000 grant from Benefact Trust will support the refurbishment and help the church to offer all of these services, and more.
Pilsdon Community, Dorset
The Pilsdon Community has worked with homeless and marginalised people for over 60 years, providing unconditional hospitality for hundreds of guests, by providing a safe, stable and accepting place for these vulnerable people to rebuild their lives.
Pilsdon is West Dorset's only direct access accommodation for people experiencing homelessness, and therefore plays a role in the county's strategy to tackle the growing issue.
A number of vocational staff, called 'members', form the stable core of the community and share the responsibility for ensuring a safe environment for the guests, 24/7, six days a week. It is a deeply enriching and sacrificial life and the community would not be able to function safely without their commitment; but the provision of suitable accommodation for members has become an increasing concern, with existing accommodation now dilapidated and uninhabitable.
An £8,000 grant from the Trust will support the provision of new, sustainable accommodation for the members, who dedicated their lives to helping the most in need.
Freedom Fighters (Community Action Initiative), Kilbirnie, Ayshire, Scotland
Freedom Fighters C.A.I is a Christian charity whose goal is to set up a Freedom Centre in a disused building in Irvine, Ayshire. It will operate as a recovery and restoration hub for the community and surrounding areas, offering a recovery church, counselling, therapy groups, educational workshops, and different classes and activities from partner groups.
At the centre of this inspiring hub will be a community café providing healthy eating options at a low cost, as well as training opportunities for local people.
£8,000 of Benefact Trust funding will support the hub’s development, which will help to improve spiritual, physical and mental wellbeing in the community.
Top Church, Dudley
St Thomas and St Luke’s Church, affectionately known as Top Church, is a Grade II* listed church situated at the top of a hill for almost 850 years. Sadly, the much-loved church has been on the ‘At Risk Register’ since 2014, in need of essential repairs.
A £16,000 grant from Benefact Trust will support the building conservation work and Top Church’s reinvigorated mission to connect with the wider community.