Cinnamon Network Project Lab 2019. Project Lab is a Dragon's Den style competition to find remarkable social action projects with the potential to be replicated in churches across the country. We entered Mum2Mum, our befriending service for young parents, and were one of only 5 projects nationally to reach the final. CEO Emma Tanner had to present a 6 minute pitch to a panel of expert judges, and answer their questions. It was an amazing, if completely terrifying, experience!
We were not one of the overall winners, who each secured a £30,000 development grant, but we were pledged over £4,000 in funding from the audience on the night and secured a place on the project incubator. This is a two-year programme designed specifically to help church-led social action projects like ours to develop strong governance, robust leadership and the knowledge and expertise we need to replicate our work. It is a unique opportunity, the commercial value of which is estimated to be over £20,000!
Our aim is that eventually Mum2Mum will be able to be offered as a service by churches or groups of churches all across the UK. In order to make this happen, we need to raise an additional £8,000, to help us develop and produce training resources, run training events, and put in the extra hours to make it all happen! If you would like to make a pledge to help us reach this target, and see Mum2Mum grow, then you can donate by clicking the donate button below.
Thank you Mr Mayor!
All of us at the Princess Project would like to say a huge thank you to the outgoing mayor of Maidstone, Cllr David Naghi. Having chosen us as one of his charities for the duration of his mayoral year, he has worked so hard on our behalf, raising funds (an amazing £3,583 in total!) and promoting our work. It was fitting that his last ever mayoral event was attending our Hollywood Ball! We have loved being part of his mayoral year- he has worked tirelessly on behalf of the people of Maidstone and has become part of our Princess Project family.
Hollywood Ball- a night to remember!
Our Hollywood Ball was a huge success. We really enjoyed hosting all of our glamorous guests, and telling them about the Princess Project. We were hosted by the wonderful and glamorous Tansye Pavey, and welcomed the outgoing Mayor of Maidstone, Cllr David Naghi, as our special guest. Our guests were painting by the hugely talented Charlotte Gardner of Fair of Face, and entertained by Cartoon Heroes, who had us all up and dancing. Thanks to the generosity of our guests we raised a whopping £5,500 (and had great fun in the process!) Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make the event a success, and who supported it in any way- as always, it was such a team effort. We hope you enjoy browsing these photos of the evening. We're taking a break next year but will be back for our 10th Birthday Celebration Ball in 2021 so hope you'll be able to join us for that!
Princess Project Medway
Things continue to grow and develop in the Medway towns in a very exciting way. After receiving some Tampon Tax funding for our work in this new area, we were able to employ a Medway-based community support worker, Alison Jackson, for a few hours a week to help run the Gillingham Hub and to visit Medway mums, as well as collect and deliver Totcycle donations and continue to build links locally and promote our services. She is already proving to be an invaluable member of team PP!
We also have another cohort of new Mum2Mum befrienders (pictured) who have just finished their training, and will shortly be starting their volunteer role offering one-to-one support to young mums in the Medway towns.
Our Gillingham Hub (and Totcycle) is open to mums on Mondays during term time between 12pm and 2pm, although Alison and/or Emma are there from 10am to accept donations etc, so do pop in and see us any time.
Grant News and Partner Update
We have been very fortunate to have been awarded two significant grants for this year. Our work in Park Wood- Totcycle, Shine course and Fusion drop-in- has been funded by People’s Health Trust (Active Communities programme) using money raised through The Health Lottery in London East.
People's Health Trust is an independent charity investing in local neighbourhoods to help create a society without health inequalities. It works closely with each of the regional and country lotteries raising money through The Health Lottery, and distributes grants.
Active Communities supports people to create and shape local projects that will help their community or neighbourhood to become even better. Active Communities projects aim to develop social links and ties and support residents to discuss and act on things that are important to them.
We have also received a Tampon Tax Community Fund grant, awarded through Kent Community Foundation. This grant is funding the initial phase of our expansion into the Medway towns- our Gillingham Hub, Medway Community Support Worker, and befriender training.
We are so grateful for these grants, but we are also extremely grateful to the individuals and organisations who partner with us financially so that we can make our work sustainable. We do not want to be reliant on grants that have a finite end, we want to be in a position where we can ensure that all of our services can continue to run once the grant finishes. We are very grateful to St Luke's Church in Maidstone, and St Peter's Church in Ightham, who continue to partner with us financially, and to St Peter's Church in Boughton Monchelsea and St Mary's Island Church who have both committed to partnering with us going forwards.