26 Jan 2022

(posted rather late but hope it makes for an interesting read anyway)

Cinnamon….just the ingredient for the season. I was offered some in my coffee today in a café. Personally, I’ll stick to it in mulled wine but the irony was that I was meeting someone from a charity called Cinnamon there.  (Well Cinnamon Network to be precise.)

Let me introduce them to you. Each year they interact with more than 1,000 churches in the British Isles providing advice, training and help to start appropriate social action projects in their communities. ACT have been supporting them to do this by funding their advisors and small set up grants for the projects for the last four years.

The kind of projects Cinnamon Network support range across mental health, poverty, isolation, homelessness, children’s wellbeing…you name it….one of their 35 recommended projects should cover it.  Once a church has established the main needs of their communities, with the help of Cinnamon, they launch a suitable project on their premises, with their church members as volunteers who will have trained and fundraised to get it going.

ACT have supported 80 projects so far.  Most of them centre around providing support for children to enable them to be better fed, better parented and feel more confident and secure. But there’s plenty for struggling adults too – help with controlling debt, housing crisis, finding a job and inevitably supplying food and shelter at times.

Cinnamon Network ensure that the projects flourish with ongoing training and support for churches and the volunteers, making sure that the impact of the money we invest in them multiplies.  For example, there was a poorly, elderly gentlemen in debt and at risk of losing his home on London.  A church was able to reach out to him with their debt programme, they gave him money to provide immediate help with securing his house, food and heating. They taught him how to manage his money to become debt free and helped him access much needed additional benefits. They paid for a mobile phone so that he could order repeat prescriptions so now he is getting the right medication at the right time.  He now regularly goes along to other church social programs like their coffee morning to enjoy some much needed company too.  What a difference the money you earnt for Andrews made to that man! Thank you!

So if you ask me, Cinnamon is the secret ingredient to a better life any season of the year. Not just at Christmas. Nevertheless, may you enjoy yours regardless of whether you prefer cinnamon in your coffee or your wine!

For more information on our Cinnamon Network partner go to https://www.cinnamonnetwork.co.uk/.