Welcome Churches, Upbeat Communities

Upbeat Communities was established by Community Church Derby to welcome and support refugees and asylum seekers, with the aim of 'helping strangers become neighbours' locally in Derby. We are now looking to use the knowledge and expertise that we have developed locally to help other church communities to do likewise. Since September 2015, we have been replicating our 'Welcome Boxes' project with the help of the Cinnamon Network; training other churches to visit newly arrived families and individuals and welcome them by providing a box of small gifts and signposting them to the services they need. We are now looking to broaden the remit of Welcome Boxes in order to provide greater depth of support to churches. By becoming Welcome Churches, we hope to be able to help churches offer support to refugees at different stages of the asylum process, and through the different avenues that they may arrive in the UK. We are seeking funding for the Welcome Churches National Development Coordinator in order to develop the support and training on offer for churches wishing to partner with us. This will mean that more churches are inspired and trained to welcome refugees in their communities, giving the UK Church a stronger voice in the current refugee crisis. We are particularly keen to work closely with Methodist Churches in order to see our national vision become a reality, as we have already built relationships with some Methodist churches (In particular, Central Methodist Hall, Westminster) and recognise the key place that they have in local communities.

Grant awarded: £25,000

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