National competition helps churches support those facing unemployment
A competition to help build the capacity of churches to support adults and young people back into employment has launched
The Cinnamon Incubator Competition is the Cinnamon Network's annual search for grassroots church-led projects.
This year the Cinnamon Network wants to find ambitious church-led social action projects involved in employment, education or training of young people and adults, who want to replicate their work through other churches.
The number of unemployed adults has risen sharply over the past year, it explained. According to the Office of National Statistics, since February 2020 the number of payroll employees has fallen by 693,000. Young people are disproportionately affected with under 25s contributing to over 60 per cent of those who have lost their jobs.
'While the government furlough scheme has helped to keep many in work, the future remains unclear,' the statement continued.
'We know that churches across the nations are finding innovative ways to support those who are out of work. Through the Incubator Competition, Cinnamon aims to find those initiatives and help them replicate through other churches across the country.
'If every church was trained to provide support to those facing unemployment in their community, the impact could be tremendous.'
Cinnamon wants to find local initiatives that are already:
• helping individuals retrain
• building confidence and skills
• providing connections to work
• creating employment opportunities
• offering mentoring and coaching
• developing apprenticeships
• reaching those not in education, employment or training
These may be projects that are encouraging local employers to consider candidates who may otherwise not get an interview; helping ex-offenders gain employability skills; or mentoring young adults who struggle to engage in employment, education and training.
The five finalists will get a place on the Cinnamon Incubator Programme. Over the course of the two years, they’ll receive teaching and coaching to help them put in place strong foundations, make key connections and develop the capacity to grow.
The value of the support provided on the Cinnamon Incubator Programme, which operates on a strictly invitational basis, is more than £21,000.
Judges will choose two projects to be awarded a £25,000 development grant.
Previous winners of the competition include Renew Wellbeing, which helps churches open caféstyle spaces to improve mental health and emotional wellbeing, and is now working with more than 200 churches nationwide.
Baptist pastor Ruth Rice, Director of Renew Wellbeing, said, 'I commend the Cinnamon Incubator Competition to you. If you’re thinking of a new idea, a God idea then get stuck into the Cinnamon Incubator Competition.'
Amanda Bindon, Co-Chief Executive of Cinnamon Network said, 'Unemployment can have a devastating impact on individuals and families.
'Churches at the heart of communities across the country are uniquely positioned to respond with care and compassion. By finding excellent projects already making a difference and helping them to replicate, we want to help more churches be part of the solution.'