Bellshill Church Picks Up National Award

09 June 2017

Bellshill EU Church has been awarded a £2,000 prize after nominations from across the UK were invited for the annual Serving the Community Awards. 

Elaine Gatenby, and Fiona Kyle, received the award on behalf of the church at the Congregational Federation Assembly held in Swansea on Saturday 10 June. The awards, sponsored by national church insurer Congregational Insurance, recognise the efforts of churches that use the energy, commitment and skills of church members and volunteers to establish and maintain social initiatives within their local community. 

Bellshill EU Church offers a safe and friendly place open to people from all walks of life; their foodbank provides a much-needed service to individuals and families who due to unforeseen circumstances find themselves in financial difficulty. In addition, the church offers a range of social activities and events for young and old to enjoy. 

Church Secretary, Elaine Gatenby said: “We are so pleased and excited to have won this award. It was an honour to be nominated and to realise just how much our community work means to people in the local area. The prize fund is very unexpected and I can assure you it will be used to improve our facilities and make it an even better place to be” 

The foodbank was originally set up as part of a wider scheme within Lanarkshire and dispenses food parcels twice a week from local referrals. It now works independently, they have established their own supply chain; volunteers still regularly attend the regional foodbank forum. They also operate a school uniform bank on a termly basis. 

The church focuses on offering some fun activities to appeal to more mature adults such as the line dancing and carpet bowls. It’s an opportunity to socialise and create new friendships and many have attended other events. Church members also provide a wide range of activities for children including Brownies, holiday clubs and trips to pantomimes and Christmas parties. 

Margaret Slater, Marketing Manager of Congregational Insurance, commented: “We place a strong focus on supporting community initiatives that really make a difference and unite people. I feel Bellshill church provides a vital service for several members of the local community who might otherwise go without. It's inspiring to see the church members and volunteers getting involved, not only does the church provide food they also offer social activities for all age groups irrespective of faith or belief." 

Yvonne Campbell General Secretary of the Congregational Federation commented: “The standard of nominations for this year’s awards was extremely high, and each of the 3 churches that received an award today have made a real impact in their local area. We are absolutely delighted that so much impressive work has grown out of local congregations and we’re proud to provide Bellshill EU Church with their well-deserved cash prize and hope that this funding boost will enable them to continue this important work within their community.” 

To view short films of this year’s award winners, visit https://youtu.be/cXlBVhIZVeU