On Monday 24th April, Amanda and Alex attended a meeting at Hampshire County Council offices to launch a partnership between the Cinnamon Network www.cinnamonnetwork.co.uk Hampshire Constabulary and Hampshire County Council.
It was fascinating meeting at which the Chief Constable of Hampshire Police Olivia Pinkney and the Transformation Lead at HCC Dan Stoneman both spoke. They want to encourage churches seeking to look after the vulnerable, lonely and lost in our communities.
The Cinnamon Network is an organisation which exists to make it as easy as possible for local churches to provide social support to those most in need in their communities by enabling best practice to be shared across the church – all denominations.
Every year churches provide about £3 billion worth of social support in the UK and the idea of the network is to let local churches know about tried and tested ways of helping those in need in their communities. The Network can provide micro grants to get started and rather than reinvent the wheel use the way another church community has started a project.
Examples of the sort of projects included in the Cinnamon Network are:
Christians Against Poverty Debt Help
Food bank (the Winchester Foodbank is supported regularly by the parish)
The Link Visiting Scheme to organise volunteers to reduce loneliness – quite an interesting model for looking after our older residents
Parish Nursing which enables parishes to appoint nurses who in turn support people and communities towards whole person healthcare – mind body and spirit!
Spear which helps young people to get into employment (which some of our parishioners have supported in the past)
Street Pastors which one of our member has been part of in Winchester City Centre
Who let the Dads Out? Which helps local churches establish projects that give dads and their children the opportunity to spend fun time together.
If any of these sound interesting to you and you would like to get involved in a project of this kind in Itchen Valley, or would just like to know more please do let either Amanda or I know.