Crediton Church Picks Up National Award09 June 2018
Crediton Congregational Church has been awarded a £2,000 prize after nominations from across the UK were invited for the annual Serving the Community Awards.
Pam and Megan John received the award on behalf of the church at the Congregational Federation Assembly held in Islington, London on Saturday 9 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.
Following a reduction of the local authority day centre services for adults with learning difficulties in 2005, Crediton Church decided to start a free coffee morning every Wednesday, open to anyone but especially people with learning disabilities, their carers and friends. This safe and friendly environment also provides a variety of games, crafts, music and dancing. With as many as 85 people regularly attending, the coffee mornings are a chance for often overlooked members of the community to socialise, have fun and make friends
Jane Bristow, Causeway drop-in coordinator said "We are so pleased and excited to have won this award. It was an honour to be nominated, and for the community work we do in the local area to be recognised in this way. The prize fund is very welcome and will be used to improve our church facilities, especially for people with disabilities.
Most of the people attending the drop-in session live in residential care homes in Crediton or the surrounding towns and villages although some live in their own homes under a “supported living” arrangement. For many, the coffee morning may be their only regular social interaction each week. The carers are supported by a team of volunteers from Churches Together in Crediton, along with helpers who previously worked at the local authority day care centre.
Since 2014 the church has also offered its space to the Rowell Centre which provides a more comprehensive range of practical activities and skills leaning for people who had previously attended the local authority day service which is now closed.
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 Crediton Church stepped up to the challenge and filled a void within the local community and offers a vital service not only for adults with learning difficulties but for the whole community. It's inspiring to see church members, volunteers and carers coming together, to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all irrespective of faith or belief."
Yvonne Campbell General Secretary of the Congregational Federation commented: “The standard of nominations for this year’s awards was again extremely high, and each of the 3 churches that received an award today have made a real impact in their local area by responding directly to community need and providing a service that would otherwise have been finished. We are absolutely delighted that so much impressive work has grown out of local congregations and we’re proud to provide Crediton Church with their well-deserved cash prize and hope that this funding boost will enable them to continue this very important work within their community.”
To view short films of this year’s award winners, visit https://youtu.be/r_MEm6s6j3E