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14 November 2014

Make Lunch among winners at Christian social action awards

Make Lunch among winners at Christian social action awards

Rachel Warwick and Elinor Knight from Make Lunch

A church-based project that provides free, healthy, cooked meals during the holidays for pupils who usually receive free school meals during term-time was awarded at an inaugural ceremony celebrating innovative Christian mission this week.

The first ever Christian Funders' Forum (CFF) social action awards took place at Lambeth Palace on Wednesday night and celebrated the teams behind key Christian projects working in communities around the UK.

Make Lunch, which started in 2011, took home the award for the Best New Replicable Project. Since launching, they have cooked and served more than 8,000 meals in more than 30 locations in England, Scotland and Wales.

Founder and director Rachel Warwick said: "It's been fantastic to be here to celebrate so many amazing projects that are going on in the country and to be encouraged in what we're doing as well. Funding is such a massive part of charity work and so it's great to celebrate the fruits of that. I hope that receiving an award like this from the Christian Funders' Forum will leverage more support like theirs in the future."

Other winners included Sharpe Memorial Church of the Nazarene in Parkhead, Glasgow for the Best Church Building Project and Longton Community Church for the Best Church Based Social Action Project.

Matt Bird, chair of the Christian Funders' Forum and host of the ceremony, said: "It was such a privilege tonight as members of The Christian Funders' Forum to recognise and award these amazing churches and organisations, who are doing some incredible and innovative work in their communities across the UK. These projects represent the growing impact that churches are having in their local areas, working together to be the hands and feet of Jesus and make a real difference to so many lives."

Christian grant-makers in the UK such as The Hinchley Trust and The Joseph Rank Trust, are increasingly working together to provide support and encourage excellence in Christian mission.

The special Mustard Seed Gold Award winner was Way4ward, which works to inspire and raise aspirations among BME youth and adults in the criminal justice system. Founder Steve Rawlings told the attendees that it was time for the Church to wake up to the need of BME prisoners and ex-offenders.

The Silver Award went to Active Listening and the Bronze Award was presented to The Feast from Birmingham. 

The past few years have witnessed a rise in churches and organisations stepping into the gap and addressing key social needs, as the country has experienced a changing economic environment and significant cuts in funding for public services and charities.

CFF plan to run the awards every year to continue to encourage and resource other local churches of all denominations to address social needs right where they are.