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URC Community Project Awards 2014

05 July 2014

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A community initiative which helps local homeless people through its drop-in advice centre has received a prestigious national award in recognition of the important work it undertakes in and around Llandudno. Hope Restored, which was set up four and a half years ago, has been named as a Community Project Award winner and received a £2,000 prize.

The Hope Restored project provides a non-judgemental place where homeless people can get a warm welcome, a hot meal and help with getting their lives back on track.

Hope Restored operates from Gloddaeth United Reformed Church twice a week and provides nourishment to those that attend the sessions. Hot drinks and snacks are offered from 10am, followed by a two-course home cooked lunch.

The project was singled out for its impressive array of partnerships and effective signposting of users to local services. It refers individuals to local agencies and charities if they are suffering from alcohol and substance misuse or mental health problems. Hope Restored also helps its clients find accommodation through local landlords and the local authority housing department.

Brenda Fogg, project leader, was presented with the award at the United Reformed Church General Assembly and received a cheque for £2,000 to help continue with this vital work.

Brenda Fogg said: "We're delighted to have won a Community Project Award and absolutely thrilled that the positive impact of our project has been recognised. The prize money will be so very useful as we are dependent on external funding to keep the project running. We're hoping to provide laundry facilities to our clients and also to replenish our stock of sleeping bags and tents for those that need them.

"We've forged great links within the community, and we're looking forward to continuing the work undertaken over the previous three years to help more people who are less fortunate"

Margaret Slater, Marketing Manager of Congregational & General Insurance, the sponsors of the Community Project Awards, said: "The work that Hope Restored undertakes is incredibly inspiring and we're delighted to award this prize to the project."

URC Community Project Awards 2014

05 July 2014

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A community project that seeks to support jobseekers has announced it's won a prestigious national award for the work it undertakes in Exmouth. Glenorchy Work Club, which has operated from Glenorchy United Reformed Church since 2011, confirmed it has received a Community Project Award and the top prize money of £3,500 for its vital work.

The Work Club aims to support and build the confidence of unemployed people within the Exmouth area. This covers every aspect of their job search, including help preparing their CV's, offering basic computer training for those who need it, as well as advertising local job vacancies.

Attendance at the Work Club averages between 40 and 50 each week, from a wide cross section of the local community. To date, more than 120 people have gained work, thanks to the support and dedication of the project volunteers.

The Revd Robert Jennings, chair of the steering group, was presented with the award at the United Reformed Church General Assembly held in Cardiff on Saturday 5 July, and he also accepted a cheque for £3,500 prize money which will help the centre to continue its vital work.

Peter said: "We're thrilled to have been selected as this year's winner and are delighted that our work with unemployed people in Exmouth has been recognised on a national level.

"Successfully supporting people back to employment makes a real difference to their lives and not only financially. Being in work restores confidence and gives people a sense of pride in themselves."

"We'll use the prize money to buy additional equipment and to help any clients who are struggling to pay their travel costs to attend job interviews."

Margaret Slater, Marketing Manager of Congregational & General Insurance, the sponsors of the Community Project Awards, said: "The Glenorchy Work Club is a fantastic locally driven project that clearly has a life-changing impact on the people it serves."

"This project is held in very high esteem by local agencies for the work undertaken and we're confident that the prize fund will be put to good use. The Work Club has seen many people return to employment over the past 3 years and we look forward to hearing of many more in years to come."

URC Community Project Awards 2014

05 July 2014

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A project which aims to make families with disabled children feel welcome, accepted and loved regardless of their condition, has won a coveted national award in recognition of the work it undertakes. Messy Church SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities), which is run from Adeyfield Free Church in Hemel Hempstead, has been named as a Community Project Award winner and receives prize money of £2,000.

The project draws people from a wide catchment area around Adeyfield Free Church. The families that attend have children with a wide range of disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, learning disabilities and those on the Autistic spectrum. Messy Church SEND provides these families with a space where the needs of disabled children are fully understood and prioritised. The volunteers engage with each individual's preferred learning style through the use of appropriate multi-sensory activities, materials and resources.

Such is the impact of the project that it has been recognised as one of the winners of a coveted Community Project Award. On Saturday 5 July, the Revd Peter Blackband, minister of Adeyfield Free Church, was presented with the award at the United Reformed Church General Assembly held in Cardiff. Messy Church SEND also received £2,000 prize money to enable it to continue its vital work.

Mr Blackband said: "I am really pleased for the people who had the original vision for this - for Trish and for Tim; I see this award as an affirmation of their work in really including disabled children, children with special needs and their whole families, and bringing the love of God to them. That affirmation is wonderful."

A representative from the project said that the £2,000 prize money will be used to purchase additional equipment to help the children's learning.

Margaret Slater, Marketing Manager of Congregational & General Insurance, the sponsors of the Community Project Awards, said: "Messy Church SEND is a unique project that serves a very real need in the local community and beyond. We look forward to seeing further development of the projects as it continues to grow and we are delighted to present them with this award for their excellent work."