2021 Cinnamon Incubator Competition Winners Announced

On Tuesday 5 October, Purple Shoots and Street Storage fought off stiff competition to win the 2021 Cinnamon Incubator Competition at St Paul’s Church, Onslow Square in London.

Since February, Cinnamon have been looking for ambitious church-led social action projects involved in employment, education or training that want to grow and replicate their work across the country.
Five finalists pitched their initiatives in front of a panel of judges, invited guests and an online audience for a chance to win one of two £25,000 development grants and additional support.
All finalists have secured a place on Cinnamon’s coveted two-year Incubator Programme where they will receive support from industry professionals to help them growth and replicate their work for the benefit of communities across the UK.  

The judges were particularly impressed with the innovation and determination of the winners who have continued to adapt their work throughout the pandemic.

Mike Royal, Co-Chief Executive of Cinnamon Network and head of the judging panel said: “The two winners showed that they were ahead of the game in many respects. We are so excited about journeying with them and helping them to expand their great work.”

Decades of research has shown that extended periods of unemployment can have a ‘scarring’ effect not only on career and income, but also an individual’s physical and mental health. The World Health Organisation recognises re-employment to be one of the most effective ways of promoting mental health.

However, when it comes to applying for work, it’s not a level playing field. For the long term unemployed, those with additional health needs, asylum seekers, recovering addicts, and individuals leaving prison the battle to get into work is even tougher.

The five finalists all showed great innovation by providing practical and effective solutions that help individuals overcome barriers to enter employment.

Mrs Xenia Dennen, Chair of the Church & Communities programme at the Mercers’ Company (Corporate Trustee to The Charity of Sir Richard Whittington) said: “We have all become aware of the fragility of the job market throughout the course of the pandemic. We are delighted to be working with Cinnamon to find initiatives that are tackling this head on by supporting those who find it hardest to access training and employment.” 

The 2021 Cinnamon Incubator Competition winners are:

Purple Shoots, based near Cardiff, provide self-support groups for people through local churches, to empower them to grow in confidence and start micro-enterprises.
purpleshoots.org, @PurpleShoots

Street Storage, based in London, provide secure storage space for homeless people to make it easier for them to attend job interviews and engage in other aspects of life that many of us take for granted.
streetstorage.org, @street_storage

The 2021 Cinnamon Incubator Competition runners up are:

Glesga Roasters, based in Glasgow, employ people who have been homeless or have been through the criminal justice system to roast and pack coffee which is available from their website. They also support sustainable coffee growing in Rwanda.
glesgaroasters.com, @GlesgaRoasters

Just Ice, based in Derby, employ survivors of modern slavery to help them to manufacture and then retail gourmet ice cream through their shop, events and partners.
just-ice.org, @justicecreamuk

Transform Car Valeting, based in Derby, provide skills training, income, mentoring and encouragement for ex-homeless people through their car valeting business.

Click here to read more about our finalists

Cinnamon Network are grateful to the Bishop Radford Trust, the Mercers’ Company (Corporate Trustee to The Charity of Sir Richard Whittington), and The Vardy Foundation who are all supporting this year’s competition.

You can still make a donation to support the growth of the project or projects of your choice by clicking here.