The value of the time given by the UK Church to the community each year is worth more than £3 billion, according to the Cinnamon Network, which researched the impact of churches on the health and well-being of communities.
‘The church’s impact on health and care’ findings, released in May 2018, reveal that faith organisations and the church have a lot to offer to fill the ever-increasing NHS gaps in health and social care. The findings also discuss how key community projects provided by church groups provide a lot of value-for-money in sectors that would otherwise cost state agencies a lot of money.
Cinnamon Network founder Matt Bird believes the results of the research, funded by Allchurches Trust, demonstrate that there should be greater partnership working between the church and the NHS.
Over 30 local church community projects have been created and delivered to provide a menu of best-practice Cinnamon Recognised Projects (CRPs). Churches can select one of these off-the-shelf projects and put them into action to practically support their communities.
Alongside the projects Cinnamon offers advice, funding, support and leadership training. Currently 3,500 churches are running a CRP — mobilising over 200,000 volunteers a year and impacting the lives of over two million people.
The projects include Intentional Health, Parish Nursing, Mega Fitness and The Pain Exchange (addressing general health and wellbeing), Linking Lives UK and Care Home friends (loneliness), Lyrics and Lunch (dementia), Renew Wellbeing and Peaced Together (mental health), Baby Basics (perinatal care) and Accident and Emergency (ED Pastors).