Cinnamon Project Lab Winners 2017

On Wednesday, 21 June, BoxUpCrime and The Primetime Project fought off stiff competition to be awarded the title of Project Lab 2017 winners at Mercers’ Hall in London.

Thanks to the generosity of Mercers’, the two projects will each receive a development grant of £30,000, plus entry onto the Cinnamon Incubator Programme where they’ll benefit from expert coaching, world-class professional advice, targeted marketing support and access to industry and government contacts to help their projects grow.

The finalists and judges

Project Lab 2017’s one aim was to find local, church-based social action projects which were led by young people (between 16-25 years of age) or which were helping to tackle issues of poverty and social exclusion faced by young people, with a vision to develop their model so churches in other parts of the country can replicate it with relative ease.

A Great Experience

The final on Wednesday night, which saw the five finalists present their initiatives in a Dragons’ Den-style event, was the culmination of months of hard work for the projects, who applied for the competition that was launched via social media back in March.

BoxUpCrime (L) and PrimeTime (R)

“The experience was the most amazing and the most scary things I’ve done,” said Stephen Addison, founder of BoxUpCrime, an initiative that helps young people to rebuild misguided dreams, using non-contact boxing sessions and mentoring. “There was a lot on the line for us and through everything I really learnt to trust God.’

“It’s given us the encouragement that this is the right thing to do,” continues Liam Jagger from The Primetime Project, which empowers disadvantaged young people to develop key skills for employment, life and leadership. “It was so encouraging to meet the other finalist and hear from last year’s winners too.”

Winners All Round

In addition to the top prizes, more than £15,000 was pledged on the night from members of the audience to help the other three finalists: tastelife, Bus Stop and The GIVING BACK Project, to participate in the Cinnamon Incubator and help expand their work.

“All the finalists are winners,” said Rachel Gardner, Founder of Youthscape and one of the Project Lab 2017 judges. “This is a challenging time for youth work and we were deeply impressed by the excellent projects and their deep love for young people. I’m excited to see the Church leading the way in bringing life to young people. For all the projects, this is just the start.”