Growing Lives programme approaches £2 million mark!

05 OCT 2020

Allchurches Trust’s Growing Lives programme has now funded 200 churches and Christian charities throughout the UK and Ireland to connect with more young people in their communities. It was launched in May 2019, with a £1 million budget. 

After the immense success of the first six months, another million pounds was added to the pot in January 2020 and the continuing demand for funding to enable projects having a transformative impact on young people’s lives has been inspiring.

The latest round of grants has brought the grand total to £1.97 million and as the Trust will soon exceed the programme budget, Growing Lives is set to close on Friday, October 30 at 12pm. We will be accepting applications until that time. You can apply here.

In the meantime, let’s celebrate some of the latest projects to benefit from this well-deserved funding…

Ladywood Interfaith Education Project (St John and St Peter Church), Birmingham 

Ladywood is the second most disadvantaged constituency in Birmingham and in the bottom 10% nationally. 

Violence is not uncommon. In 2017, a gun was fired outside of the church school during the school day, and in 2019, a targeted drive by shooting left two men seriously injured and a third dead, just as the church’s ‘Krunch Kids’ Club’ was finishing. 

These tragic events have made the church even more determined to drive the Ladywood Interfaith Education Project forward and encourage the next generation to be more tolerant and understanding of each other’s differences. Some 97% of students from the church school come from minority ethnic groups with different cultures and often they have limited opportunities as a result of low community aspirations.

£1,200 Growing Lives funding from Allchurches Trust will enable the church and three other faith venues to engage with local schools through story, drama, music, art, scared space and discussion, helping children to explore and celebrate their personal spirituality and abilities, and be open and understanding of others’ beliefs.

BeSpace, Oxford

In a time of worry and uncertainty, we all relish a moment of peace and reflection... 

BeSpace is giving schools in Oxfordshire the opportunity to experience a prayer and reflection space, to support the wellbeing of their students. 

The charity has previously worked with local churches to provide 151 reflection spaces in schools, and with an Allchurches’ Growing Lives grant of £2,400, it intends to reach a further 60 schools over the next three years. 

The spaces use interactive, visual and tactile activities to relax young people and give them a moment for quiet contemplation. 

A group of children colouring in at BeSpace
The Diocese of Down and Dromore, Belfast 
With a sharp decline in church attendance from the younger generation and churches struggling to maintain connections with young people beyond the age of 13, The Diocese of Down and Dromore is determined to reach out to young people, to develop their leadership skills and help them to build an active faith.
Its entry level SERVE course has been running for three years – providing fantastic training opportunities for young leaders in their parish. However, there is a desire for further opportunities and more development, which is not currently available.
£6,900 Growing Lives funding from Allchurches will support the diocese to develop its SERVE Plus training, helping young people between the ages of 15 and 18 to achieve their goals and aspire to ministry leadership at an age when many leave church.
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Church of the Good Shepherd, Heswall, Merseyside
The Church of the Good Shepherd has one of the largest youth work initiatives in the diocese, yet it doesn’t have a church building to work from. The main base has been the home of a church family and it’s now time to look to the future and build a new venue to fulfil its vision.
The Lighthouse Church will be based in an area of Heswall where there is greater need. It will host the thriving parent and toddler groups, Rainbows, Brownies, Sunday groups and youth groups; but the new building will also enable new ways to expand its youth work and create a base for developing positive community role models.
An Allchurches Trust Growing Lives grant of £20,000 is helping the church to develop this fantastic facility and fund vital resources to support youth engagement.
*Header Image: BeSpace
The Lighthouse Church artist mock up of new building
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