Cinnamon Project Lab 2016

Last year Cinnamon ran the first Project Lab competition to find new church-based social action projects that wanted to grow

through community franchising.  The focus for the 2016 competition was on key under-resourced areas of need including: dementia care, care for carers, mental health and domestic abuse.

We were looking for simple, church-sized projects that were already making a difference in their local community and had a passion to enable other churches to do the same.

Application Process

We initially spread the word through a social media campaign that ran throughout the UK. We were overwhelmed by the response from remarkable churches who were responding practically to social need within their communities. It was a privilege to hear from so many who were taking innovative and pioneering approaches to support the most vulnerable within their communities.

Care Home Friends

Following a rigorous application process, five projects were finally selected by a judging panel to be put forward to the final. With the help from professional trainers in a presentation masterclass, the project leaders honed and developed their  pitching skills in preparation for the final.

The Finalists

The competition culminated in a wonderful final held at Emmanuel Centre in London in June, when the five finalists pitched their projects to an audience of judges, philanthropists and other social action leaders in central.

The presentations were outstanding and it was incredible to see how the projects had developed and honed their ideas throughout the course of the application process. The judges were left with an impossibly hard decision to make and eventually decided on two worthy winners: Care Home Friends and Renew37. 

Renew 37

The joint winners received development funding of £15,000 each and automatic entry into the Cinnamon Incubator, where they received expert coaching, world class professional advice, targeted marketing support and access to industry and government contacts.

In addition, the other three finalists impressed the judges and audience so much that they received additional investment from those in the room, enabling them to join the Cinnamon Incubator and continue to grow and develop their project to a point where it can be replicated in churches across the UK.

2016 Project Lab winners

To hear more about the journey of Care Home Friends and Renew 37 since winning the competition, please see the following blog posts for Care Home Friends and Renew37.

You can find out about the Cinnamon Incubator HERE.

Cinnamon is running Project Lab in 2017 in partnership with Mercers’ Company.  This Project Lab is looking specifically for projects that are run by or provide support for young people aged between 16-25 years of age.  For more information, visit the Project Lab 2017 page.