Growing Lives – forging lasting links with families and young people

All Churches Trust’s programme, Growing Lives, aims to help churches and Christian organisations to connect with children and young people and forge lasting links with families in their area.

All Churches Trust writes –

More than a quarter of a million pounds has already been given to churches and Christian organisations all over the UK under the new programme, which is enhancing our support for churches and groups looking to build local partnerships through projects focused on improving the lives of young people (aged 0 to 18) and encouraging church growth as young people discover faith for themselves and begin to play an active part in church communities.

Grants of up to £25,000 are available, and the amount you receive will depend upon the cost of your project and the level of need in your community, ranging from 10% of project cost through to 80%. In contrast to our other open grant programmes, you can apply for funding under the Growing Lives programme even if you have received a grant from Allchurches Trust within the last two years (as long as the Growing Lives application is for a different project). You can apply for a grant here (please do remember to select the Growing Lives programme on the drop down at B1 on the application form).

Some 21 projects received a share of £276,487 of funding in the first wave of Growing Lives grants to be awarded. You can read more and watch the video here.

There are so many examples of churches of all denominations and Christian organisations running innovative, impactful projects that are helping young people to explore and grow in faith, get active, access training and work opportunities, develop life and leadership skills and feel less isolated.

Social action initiatives are wide-ranging and are addressing a very real need, particularly in some of the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods where issues like gang culture, substance dependency and knife crime are a growing problem.

Other churches and Christian organisations are offering a lifeline to local families through running services and activities such as homework clubs, holiday childcare and parent and toddler groups.

However, we also know that many more would like to offer activities for children and teenagers, but lack the resources to do so. Our recent survey of more than 800 churches revealed that while 82% of churches are running activities for children aged 0 to 10, only 58% are running any activities for 11 to 18-year-olds. And while 58% rate their support for the younger age group as good or excellent, 41% admit their provision for older children is inadequate.

Perhaps your church needs musical instruments for its junior choir, is looking to start a soft play session for toddlers or wants to transform an under-used room or area of its hall into a chill out zone and café or spiritual space for young people? Maybe you need new books and toys for your children’s corner or equipment for summer sports? And, if you are thinking of redesigning a space or buying new furniture, why not read this top tips blog on how to plan the perfect space for young people from Youthscape CEO, Chris Curtis. We also have blogs with guidance that will help if you are considering providing online support for young people, or connecting with children in your community through music.

From bean bags to interactive Bible study and consoles and computers to cricket bats, Growing Lives is here to help.

Our programme will help fund structural changes too; whether that’s a £100,000 project to convert a building into a state-of-the-art youth centre or simply upgrading a kitchen or office space to help young people to develop their life-skills.

Unfortunately, we’re unable to fund running costs, salaries or one-off events. There is currently no deadline for applications although funding for the programme is finite and will be kept under review.

By funding changes to buildings and new equipment, we aim to enable churches and Christian organisations to engage more effectively in offering support to children and young people (aged 0 to 18) and families. If you would like to talk through your potential application, you can find our contact details here.

You can read more here.