CAPTION: Two Devon faith projects have received funding out of just 16 nationally

Transforming Plymouth Together and Torbay Deanery Share in £1.3m Faith New Deal Fund

Posted: 3rd August, 2022

Two Diocese of Exeter social action projects, Transforming Plymouth Together and Torbay Deanery’s food security outreach have been successful in their bids for funding as part of the Government’s £1.3m  ‘Faith New Deal Fund’.

The pilot project will fund faith-based groups to deliver innovative projects tackling issues affecting the most vulnerable in society. Just 16 projects nationally have been chosen for this first round of funding.

Rev’d Nathan Kiyaga, Area Dean for Torbay, said the funding was “wonderful news”

Torbay Deanery has been awarded £120,000 for its Torbay United for Safety and Food Security project. Transforming Plymouth Together, which is a joint Diocese of Exeter and Church Urban Fund charity, has been awarded £99,950 for its Real Conversations project, which will work to bring communities and those in positions of power together, to listen and share stories of their lived experiences.

Rev’d Nathan Kiyaga, Torbay Area Dean said “This is truly wonderful news. As our first step, we will be consulting widely with Churches and local charities, schools, Local Authority, voluntary sector partners, police  and the amazing people who lead our food banks, as well as our local people to draw on their experiences to ensure that together, we can deliver the maximum impact across the whole of the Bay with this grant.

“These are inspiring examples of how churches are engaged in caring for those most in need.” The Rt Rev’d Nick McKinnel, Bishop of Plymouth

“We already have an army of fantastic and committed volunteers who support our community and we will be building on their work and encouraging others to come forward.”

Ayshea Cross, Strategic Lead Officer for Transforming Plymouth Together,  said “Transforming Plymouth Together is delighted to have been awarded this funding, and to act as the lead on this project for Plymouth and eight other regions through our Together Network partners.

Transforming Plymouth Together volunteers pack Christmas food ‘hampers’ in 2020

“This is a great opportunity for churches to be at the heart of community conversations about issues that really matter, and the project fits well with the new Belong in Plymouth Network focus, making Plymouth “a city where no one feels forgotten”.

“We are hopeful that on a more national level, the stories and results of these conversations will help to shape future faith policies and decisions within central government, via the Department of Levelling Up.”

Instrumental role of faith organisations

The funding is coming from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. It was inspired by the strong response of faith-based organisations during the pandemic in supporting their communities,  particularly the most vulnerable.

The Faith Minister Paul Scully said “We saw the instrumental role that faith organisations played in supporting vulnerable people during the pandemic. Working closely with local partners, councils and government, they supported communities where they need it most. This pilot scheme will build on that vital work, so that faith organisations and their partners can continue to support communities as they recover.”

The Bishop of Plymouth, the Rt Rev’d Nick Mckinnel, said “It is an enormous tribute to Torbay Deanery and to Transforming Plymouth Together to both be receiving substantial grants from the New Deal government initiative for faith communities.

“These are for innovative projects that serve the needs of their local communities and inspiring examples of how churches are engaged in caring for those most in need.”