Worcestershire Church Recognised for Bringing Together Local Community

09 July 2016

Community Project scoops up prestigious National Award

Feel Better, Enjoy Life More, which operates from Broadway United Reformed Church has received a Community Project Award for its vital work within the community and a cash prize of £2,500.

Mark Pickering and Joanne Griffin from the project were presented with the award at the United Reformed Church Assembly held in Southport on Saturday 9 July. The awards, sponsored by national church insurer Congregational, recognise the efforts of churches that establish social initiatives within their local community.

Feel Better, Enjoy Life More was launched in 2014 after a community audit of Worcestershire identified that loneliness, health issues and access to facilities were key issues for the local elderly residents. The project invites members of the local community out of their home and into the church to participate in activities and build friendships in a relaxed setting. Exercise sessions include activities to help attendees improve their balance and mobility. Computer classes are run to educate the community on how to keep in touch with their family and friends online. Table games are also popular as this encourages people to come together and get to know each other.

The number of participants continues to grow each month and over 150 participants feel the project has improved their wellbeing and made them feel included within the community.

The Community Awards judging panel recognised the impressive work by Feel Better, Look After Yourself and chose the project as one of the winners in this year’s national awards. Mark Pickering and Joanne Griffin from the project were presented with the award at the United Reformed Church General Assembly held and also received £2,500 prize money.

The project leader, Mark Pickering, said: “Feel Better, Enjoy Life More are so pleased to have won a Community Award. The project has helped so many people get out of their homes to enjoy new interests in a fun, friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

“The funding will be used firstly to make all of our activities even more dementia-friendly and suitable for people living with sight loss. We would then buy equipment to help people feel less alone by teaching participants how to confidently use computer tablets to contact their family and friends.”

Congregational Insurance Marketing Manager, Margaret Slater, said: “We place a strong focus on supporting community initiatives such as Feel Better, Enjoy Life More that really make a difference and unite people. I feel the success of this project lies in the fact that people are coming together to exercise, improve their wellbeing and more importantly having some fun.”

David Grosch Miller, Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church (URC), and one of the judges added: “The standard of entries at this year’s Community Project Awards was very high, and each of the prize winning organisations have made a real impact in their local area – showing God at work in small details and large visionary projects. We are absolutely delighted that so many impressive, life-giving projects have grown out of local URC congregations and we’re proud to provide Feel Better, Enjoy Life More with their well-deserved cash prize and hope that this funding boost will enable them to continue their important community work.”

To view a short film on the project, please visit: https://youtu.be/AX60f5KvTH0