Cinnamon Project Lab 2020 Winners Announced
On Monday 9 November, Hope4All and Radiant Cleaners fought off stiff competition to win the 2020 Cinnamon Project Lab competition. Through the 2020 Cinnamon Project Lab competition, which launched back in February, Cinnamon UK have been searching the length and breadth of the UK for innovative, church based social action projects that are making a difference.
This year perhaps more than ever before the issue of homelessness has resonated with so many of us – as the COVID-19 pandemic forced us back into the safety of our homes, it inevitably made us question what happens to those without suitable homes, or those for whom home is not a place of safety and refuge. Before the pandemic an estimated 8.4 million people in the UK were living in unaffordable, insecure and unsafe accommodation.
The past few months have highlighted the inequalities in our society as those who live in unsafe and crowded homes have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Analysis by the New Policy Institute shows the top five most-crowded areas in the country have seen 70% more coronavirus cases than the five least-crowded.
Churches wanting to respond to these challenges are looking for ideas that they can replicate to benefit their community without having to start from scratch – which is where the Cinnamon Incubator proves so valuable in supporting projects so that they can be replicated across the UK.
Five outstanding projects that address those challenges made it through to the Project Lab final, and after pitching their story to the invited audience of experts and supporters Hope4All and Radiant Cleaners emerged victorious.
Thanks to the generosity of The Mercers’ Charitable Foundation and Andrews Charitable Trust, the winning projects will each receive a development grant of £30,000, plus entry onto the coveted two-year Cinnamon Project Incubator.
In addition to the development grants, an additional £55,537.50 was donated by those who watched the final on the night. This will help to support the development of all the finalists, including runners up, Cambridge PACE and Street Connect, to secure a place on the Incubator teaching and coaching programme.
The programme is designed specifically to help church-led social action projects develop strong governance, robust leadership and the knowledge and expertise they need to replicate their work.
The Right Reverend Dr Graham Tomlin, Bishop of Kensington, the vice-chair of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Housing Commission, said: “The Commission seeks to enable churches to play their part in responding to the housing crisis, while asking the Government and others to work with us to create real change. Churches have been involved with housing for centuries. We now need new approaches to meet changing needs. The five Project Lab finalists will act as blueprints to show other churches across the country how they can help people find housing security at this crucial time.”
Sources: National Housing Federation, National Audit Office