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Congregational Federation Serving the Community Awards 2012

21 May 2012

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Village community initiative celebrates Award

 

The Village Community Breakfast, an initiative created by Bow Congregational Church to help build and celebrate friendships within the community, has recently won a prestigious national award.

This quarterly event offers a free breakfast and seeks to build relationships within the local community, while also breaking down negative perceptions of the church by providing a friendly and non-threatening environment.

Bow Congregational Church began the breakfast in 2009 as part of a wider effort to build vital links with the local community, which also included refurbishing areas of the church and holding informal lunches twice annually after the Sunday service to share the vision with church attendees.

Volunteers from the church prepare a continental or full cooked breakfast for anyone wishing to drop in. Attendees have tripled since the first breakfast was held and include mums with school-age children, elderly members of the community, local tradesmen and farmers.

The Village Community Breakfast has been so popular that the church recently provided a Village Tea, which included activities for primary school children, following requests from local parents.

Reverend Colin Smallacombe attended the 40th Assembly of the Congregational Federation in Dunfermline to receive the award and £2,000 prize money.

He said: “We’re overjoyed to receive this recognition from the Congregational Federation and Congregational Insurance.

“When we set out with this project we wanted a scheme that was open to all and engaged with the local community.

“We’re so happy with the growth of our project. We see more visitors every time we hold the event and seeing new faces really motivates us, there’s nothing better than sharing a meal together.

“We will use the much-needed prize money to update our kitchen facilities, buy vital equipment that we currently have to rent and invest in soft play equipment for the young children that sometimes attend with parents.”

Margaret Slater, Marketing Manager from Congregational, said: “We’re delighted to present this award to Bow Village Community Breakfast as the work that the volunteers do is clearly appreciated and of great value within the community.

“Providing a free meal in an informal atmosphere is an excellent way to encourage those who perhaps wouldn’t normally attend church to drop in. They can meet old friends and neighbours as well as new and keep up-to-date with what’s happening in the local area.

“It’s great to hear such a wide cross-section of the community mixing together and it’s further proof that the church is providing an essential service to this community.”

The Congregational Federation Community Awards seek to recognise local schemes that make a positive impact in their community. The awards are sponsored by Congregational & General Insurance which has run a community award scheme for the past fifteen years.

Congregational Federation Serving the Community Awards 2012

21 May 2012

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Community initiative Hy-Speed celebrates Congregational Federation Award

 

A community initiative that seeks to support the relationship between fathers and their children today announced it had won a prestigious national award. Hy-Speed, which is a Scalextric racing club founded by Highbury Congregational Church in Cheltenham, confirmed that it had won a prestigious ‘Congregational Community Award’ for its efforts to help family relationships and support community needs.

Launched in January 2011 the club meets one Saturday a month and has grown rapidly, with its informal and fun atmosphere becoming increasingly popular with local fathers and their children.

Highbury Congregational Church decided to launch Hy-Speed to enable fathers to spend quality time with their children – there are two sessions aimed at different age groups. The earlier session is for children aged seven plus accompanied by a male adult, and the later one is for children 13 and over, or 11 with a male adult.

With project costs met by the church and supplemented by small entry fees, the club has grown rapidly and its popularity is such that the Hy-Speed committee is now advising other churches on how to set up and run similar schemes through their congregations.

Chairman of Hy-Speed’s committee and the project founder, Peter Tennant, was on hand to receive the award and £2,000 prize money at the 40th Assembly of the Congregational Federation in Dunfermline.

Peter Tennant, founder of Hy-Speed and member of Highbury Congregational Church, said: “We’re delighted to receive this award for our project and would like to thank Congregational Insurance and the Congregational Federation for recognising the important role that Hy-Speed plays in the local community.

“Hy-Speed provides a relaxed yet exciting atmosphere for fathers and their children to spend quality time together and is a vital resource for both church members and other families in the local community.

“We are delighted to have won the award and the prize money will be spent increasing the number of cars and track we have so more are able to race. Further resources will also be purchased to entertain the children whilst they are waiting for their turn on the track.”

Margaret Slater, Marketing Manager from Congregational, said: “We are thrilled that Hy-Speed has won this award as the project clearly meets an important need within the local community.

“Hy-Speed has demonstrated that providing a fun activity in a safe and informal atmosphere enables families to communicate, enjoy quality time and strengthen their relationships.

“When visiting the project we were struck by just how popular the monthly events are and the wider recognition Hy-Speed is now receiving from other churches wishing to set up similar projects. We are pleased that this award and the prize will enable them to continue their good work.”

The Congregational Federation Community Awards seek to recognise local schemes that make a positive impact in their community. The awards are sponsored by Congregational & General Insurance which has run a community award scheme for the past fifteen years.

Congregational Federation Serving the Community Awards 2012

21 May 2012

https://www.congregational.co.uk/cgi/images/news_titles/270.png

A weekly group for parents and carers with young children launched by a local church has announced it has won a prestigious national award for its services to the local community.

Created by two members of Lapford Congregational Church, both with young children themselves, Springers offers a relaxed setting in which parents with young children can meet on a regular basis and receive support and friendship from the community.

Such is the impact of the project that is has won a coveted Congregational Federation Award and prize money of £2,000.

After starting the weekly group four years ago with just two regular attendees, Springers now welcomes up to 16 children under the age of four and their parents or carers, to partake in play, craft and music activities as well as listening to age-appropriate bible stories.

The project is run by 12 volunteers from Lapford Congregational Church and offers more mature members of the community the chance to offer advice, support and help to younger parents, whilst also teaching important social skills to the children through stimulating activities.

Caroline Gilpin, Head of Children’s Work at Lapford Congregational Church, attended the 40th Assembly of the Congregational Federation in Dunfermline to receive the project’s award and £2,000 prize money.  

She said: “We’re so happy to win this award from the Congregational Federation and Congregational Insurance. I’ve been amazed at how God’s plan has come together and how Springers has enlivened the church fellowship.

“Not only does the project offer much needed support and help for parents of young children, but it has also empowered older members of our community to feel that they have something valuable to offer younger parents through their own experiences. It’s wonderful to see multiple generations come together and strengthen community ties.

“We will continue to offer this service and with the prize money, we hope to run some additional short courses that parents might find useful. Springers has been a great success and we look forward to it going from strength to strength.”

Margaret Slater, Marketing Manager from Congregational, said: “We’re thrilled to present this award to the Springers parent and baby group. It’s clear that the work that volunteers do at Lapford Congregational Church provides an essential resource for the community.

“The wide range of people who mix together and build friendships within the group is really something special, especially in a rural community such as Lapford. The children that attend will also learn valuable skills during the play sessions.

“We’re confident that Springers will continue to grow, enabling more families to experience the warm and friendly atmosphere that the church volunteers provide.”

The Congregational Federation Community Awards seek to recognise local schemes that make a positive impact in their community. The awards are sponsored by Congregational & General Insurance which has run a community award scheme for the past fifteen years.