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£30k on offer for BAME community projects

Community projects that respond to social needs in Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic communities, and with the potential to be replicated in churches across the UK, are being invited to enter the Cinnamon Project Lab 2018 competition.

Applicants have the opportunity to win a £30,000 grant from Mercers' Company plus support from the Cinnamon Incubator which includes: expert coaching, world class teaching, targeted marketing and access to industry and government contacts.

Project Lab 2018 is run by the Cinnamon Network, a charity that works alongside local churches of all denominations to establish community initiatives and promote church community action.

This year Project Lab 2018 is looking for projects that are run or founded by Christians from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic backgrounds or those that address key issues being faced by these communities.

Winners of Project Lab 2017: BoxUpCrime and
The Primetime Project

Project Lab was first introduced in 2015 to give churches the chance to win funding and expertise to help them build and grow their initiatives, so they can be replicated in other churches for the benefit of even more individuals.

Matt Bird of the Cinnamon Network stated, "Every year Cinnamon Network finds the best local church community projects and helps them replicate. This means local churches don't have to 'reinvent the wheel' but they can do something fresh to serve their communities that is tried and tested."

Last year the Project Lab prize was shared by two amazing projects; BoxUpCrime, which helps young people to find purpose in life using non-contact boxing and mentoring; and The Primetime Project, which empowers disadvantaged young people to develop key skills for employment, life and leadership.

"The experience was one of the most amazing and the most scary things I've done," said Stephen Addison, founder of BoxUpCrime. "Project Lab gives you the ability to really understand your burden and build the infrastructure around it. It's been such a helpful learning curve and has really helped me to gain a stronger sense of mission and be more intentional in our ministry."

2017 Project Lab finalists

There are projects operating within Britain's Black and Asian churches that have the potential be replicated in churches across the country. Project Lab 2018 is interested in learning about these initiatives and their potential to be replicated for the benefit of individuals across the country.

Cinnamon Network is passionate about seeing great social action projects grow - so they are looking for projects with potential, not necessarily the finished article.

In addition to developmental funding of £30k to grow their project, winners will also join the two-year Cinnamon Incubator programme which provides:
 
* World class support through mentoring and coaching
* Access to industry experts and organisational consultancy
* Communications support to help projects market themselves

Church-based community initiatives that enter Project Lab 2018 should:

* originate within the church
* be easily replicated in other churches
* have a desire to grow nationally
* are recognised and respected in their local community
* have some resources to continue their current work
* respond to social needs in communities

Once all applications are received, they will be short-listed to five finalists who will receive training and support to pitch their project to a panel of judges at the Mercers' Hall in London in June.

More information is available at www.cinnamonnetwork.co.uk/project-lab.
Applications close on 23 April and shortlisting will take place in May.

Main photo: Stephen Addison making his pitch at Project Lab 2017

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