by | Nov 6, 2023

Back in 2013, Cinnamon Network had a crazy idea. They noticed that churches across the country were finding innovative ways to address challenges in their communities. Ladies at the Incubator Residential

They embarked on an audacious plan to  seek out these initiatives, bottle their brilliance and help other churches replicate their great work at speed and scale.

It was the start of the Cinnamon Incubator Programme. Described as an ‘MBA for church-led social action’, over the past ten years, the Incubator has seen 53 projects, addressing challenges as diverse as addiction, homelessness, poverty and mental health, through its two-year programme.

32 of these have now replicated in over 1,000 locations impacting the lives of more than 160,000 people. What’s more, the value of time given by volunteers in these initiatives is estimated to be worth more than £30 million.

On Wednesday 15 November, Cinnamon celebrated this decade’s worth of impact at their Cinnamon Incubator Final – see here for more details of that event.

Previous Incubator participants shared their journey and five finalists of this year’s Incubator Competition pitched their projects for a chance to win a £25,000 development grant and additional funding. You can watch their presentations HERE.

Shola Oladipo at the Project Retreat

This year’s finalists are already doing incredible work in areas of healthcare support, female genital mutilation, separation and divorce, sexual exploitation and emotional health.

You can read about their work, the final and the winners here.

In reaching this stage, they have already secured a place on the Cinnamon Incubator Programme. With Cinnamon’s guidance, it is hoped that they will go on to replicate and adapt their work across more communities.

In light of the cost-of-living crisis, projects like this matter more than ever. This month it was revealed that a staggering 3.8 million people are experiencing destitution in the UK. This is two-and-a-half times the number in 2017[1].

Cinnamon believes that every community has assets and skills that can be harnessed to address the challenges in their midst.

[1] https://www.jrf.org.uk/report/destitution-uk-2023

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