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Church projects rule supreme in project lab 2018

EVERYONE’S A WINNER: The Project Lab 2018 finalists

TWO CHURCH-based projects Proof Bakery and the Healthy Church Initiative fought off tiff competition to win the Cinnamon Project Lab 2018 at The Mercers’ Hall in London.

Project Lab 2018’s one aim was to find community projects that respond to social needs in Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic communities, and have a desire to share their work with churches across the UK.

London-based Healthy Church Initiative provides a six-week health intervention which educates and transforms nutritional health in Black-African Caribbean churches and communities. Proof Bakery

operates from Coventry and enables churches to support refugee women into work through a bakery business where they sell and deliver artisanal bread subscriptions to local church collection points.


Both projects will each r ceive a development grant of £30,000 donated by The Mercers’ Company, plus entry on to the Cinnamon Incubator Programme where they will benefit from: expert coaching, world class training, targeted marketing and access to industry and government contacts.

This support will help the initiatives to develop to a point where they can be replicated in other churches across the UK.

In addition to the top prizes, more than £9,000 was pledged at the Project Lab 2018 final by guests at the event, to support the development of the other three finalists, Breaking Bread which encourages collaborative eating within communities, Living Loss, which supports individuals through grief and personal and Proudtobeme, a personal development programme for young people.

A proportion of the money pledged will be used to fund these three initiatives through the Cinnamon Incubator, so they too can replicate their work on a national scale.

“I feel euphoric and shell shocked. All the projects were amazing and I had no idea we wold win.” said Chernise Neo from Proof Bakery.

“The support has been incredible.

“I think I’ll walk around in shock for a few days, but I know that we have a lot of work ahead of us. The support from Cinnamon has been fantastic. We have been like brothers and sisters. Everyone has been so lovely, said Shola Oladipo from Healthy Church Initiative.

“Winning means that we can support the church to go and do what the church is supposed to do – it’s been amazing.” Hugh Stafford-Smith from Mercers’ Company who was also one of the Project Lab 2018 judges said: “It was a pleasure to be part of Cinnamon Project Lab 2018 and, once again, the finalists set us an incredible task.

“Every single finalist did their organisation proud and every project is a winner.

“What it came down to was impact – we were looking for initiatives that could make maximum impact. I am excited to see how each of the projects develop through the Cinnamon Project Incubator.”

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