Restored were the winners of our 2022 Cinnamon Incubator Competition and Bekah Legg reflects on a busy 12 months for the organisation who equip the church to support survivors of domestic abuse.
How has the Cinnamon Incubator Competition impacted your work?
The regular income from the development grant has given us, but the coaching has been invaluable. It has helped us to really refine the focus of our work and to be able to communicate that more clearly. Regularly feeding back information about impact has also encouraged us to think through how we do this well and how we meaningfully measure what we do. Winning has certainly helped to give us credibility as we speak to larger organisations about the work that we do and as we apply to other grant makers.
How have you used the £25,000 development grant?
The prize money enabled us to secure a part time Church Partnership Manager and to subsidise the set-up of two Restored Beacons – churches that had all the passion and resources but lacked the finance. New Hope has already launched and Third Way Church is nearing completion of its training.
What have been your greatest achievements?
Our first Restored conference saw over 200 men and women gathering together to learn how to recognise and respond to domestic abuse. We have just partnered with Mothers’ Union in Ireland to host two more conferences which were attended by the CEO of Safe Ireland and Women’s Aid Ireland as well as Archbishops and Bishops from both the Anglican and Catholic Church.
What keeps you motivated?
But the greatest achievements are the individual stories of women who have found a supportive community and discovered they are not alone. I think of one woman in particular who came to Restored online, desperate and rejected by her own church. It was such a joy to be able to direct her to a Restored Beacon in the next town and then to hear how she has found a space where she can breathe, be supported and start to recover.
What are you plans for the next 12 months?
We are re-filming one of our training packages and are in negotiations with various church networks to see this used as part of their recommended safeguarding training. We’ll also be adapting our resources for use in Scotland and Wales. (We have done Ireland this year already). Alongside this, we’re strengthening the Restored Beacon Network through the development of a rolling training update programme, and we’re recruiting 10 new Restored Beacons.
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A HUGE thank you! We simply couldn’t do what we do without you. The stories that keep me going, the stories of lives rediscovered, friendships forged and churches making a difference in their community are all because you chose to stand with us as we stand with those who have been abused. Thank you.