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Congregational Federation Serving the Community Awards 2014

13 May 2014

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Hope on Wednesday, a scheme created by Hope Community Church to offer support and help to people recovering from substance abuse and mental health problems, has won a prestigious national 'Faith in Action' award.

Based in Hotwells Bristol, Hope on Wednesday is an inclusive scheme that welcomes people from all walks of life that are committed to recovery and being abstinent from drugs and alcohol.

By developing personal relationships with each member, volunteers work, in a non-judgemental way, to help rebuild trust and offer help and support to those in need as well as other activities such as gardening, DIY and cooking lessons.

Gill Kerley, leader of Hope on Wednesday, recently accepted the award and £2,000 prize money on behalf of the project at the Congregational Federation Assembly.

She said: "This award will enable us to continue the valuable work that we do at Hope on Wednesday - the project is dependent on external funding so we're delighted to win."

"We build quality relationships with the people at the church, and hope to become a 24/7 prayer centre for the people of Bristol in the near future. We've forged great links within the community, and we're looking forward building on the work of the previous two years to support those in recovery from drug and alcohol abuse."

Margaret Slater, Marketing Manager at Congregational and General Insurance, said: "The work that Hope on Wednesday undertakes is incredibly inspiring, and we're delighted to award this prize to the project."

"Hope on Wednesday offers a safe and supportive place for those that often find themselves on the edge of society. Their work is extremely valuable to the local community and it's a privilege to help support this."

Congregational Federation Serving the Community Awards 2014

13 May 2014

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The Hub @ Ide, a scheme managed by Ide Congregational Church to encourage fellowship in the local community, has been presented with a prestigious national 'Faith in Action' award.

The project, a concept from South West Area Church Support Worker Adrian Wyatt, was launched to encourage the surrounding community to engage with the church and has continued to grow since its humble beginnings as a monthly coffee morning in 2012.

The church only has a membership of 8 people but is able to offer a full programme of activities to support the local community. This includes the drop and shop, a craft morning for young children to give hard pressed parents time alone, as well as photographic classes, pizza lunches and film afternoons. A variety of different events to appeal to the multigenerational community is on offer.

The Hub @ Ide is also set to host a series of specialist talks on subjects such as substance abuse, as well as hosting an 'Ide's Got Talent' performance in the summer, a fun event showcasing performance skills from across the area.

Church secretary and leader of the project, Jackie Chadwick, and church member Evanne Voysey recently attended the Congregational Federation Assembly in Bristol to receive the award and £2,000 prize money.

She said: "We're very pleased to win this award; it is going to be extremely helpful in providing additional facilities. We're looking to improve our resources and encourage even more families to attend events at the church. Ultimately we'd like the project to become financially sustainable. At the moment our events and activities are free-of-charge, but donations are always welcome.

"We've received so much support from the community, with local businesses pitching in and with their continued help, and this award money, we can continue running our current level of activities. Plans are afoot to include after-school and children's film clubs, making this an exciting time."

Margaret Slater, Marketing Manager at Congregational and General Insurance, said: "We're delighted to present this award to Ide Congregational Church, and it's very inspiring to see such a small and rural church community thrive in this way.

"It's so encouraging to see the inclusiveness of the project and the support shown to date has brought the community together. The award is very well deserved and we look forward to seeing how the project continues to grow."

Congregational Federation Serving the Community Awards 2014

13 May 2014

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NCC Foodbank, a scheme established by Narborough Congregational Church that helps local people in need, has been presented with a prestigious national 'Faith in Action' award.

The project, based at Narborough Congregational Church, was launched in October 2013 to provide help and support for isolated members of the community regardless of their faith.

The scheme, which relies solely on donations, was created following indications that the absence of a local food bank could result in some members of the local community going hungry. With the support from local agencies, volunteers came together to create food hampers and deliver them to those in need including those unable to leave their homes to collect supplies due to financial, travel or family situations.

Donations of food or cash to the NCC Foodbank are encouraged and there have been several fundraising activities organised by the wider community. The Foodbank provides a completely inclusive and rewarding experience for all; younger members of the church have pitched in by wrapping Christmas gifts, while other volunteers donate food and help with distribution.

The NCC Foodbank co-ordinator, Katie Johnson, recently attended the Congregational Federation Assembly in Bristol to receive the award and £2,000 prize money on behalf of the project.

She said: "We're so grateful to be chosen as a Faith in Action award winner, we hope to use the money to increase the amount of help we can offer. The Foodbank is an important emergency service to local families in need, and the more members of the community that are backing the scheme, the better. It would be fantastic to see more volunteers at the NCC Foodbank."

"We're also hoping to raise our profile among referral agencies in the local area, so that we can add to the number of local organisations that are already supporting us. In addition to providing food to those that need it, many of our volunteers tell us that they are making a positive contribution; we're thrilled to be such an important part of the community on so many levels."

Margaret Slater, Marketing Manager at Congregational and General Insurance, said: "NCC Foodbank is such a worthwhile award winner and we're delighted to present this prize."

"This project offers a vital service for a number of members of the local community who might otherwise go without. It's inspiring to see the church getting involved, not only does the Foodbank provide food they also work with referral agencies to help those people going forward and there's always an invitation to visit the church - irrespective of faith or belief."