Cinnamon Project Lab Winners 2018


On Monday, 18th June, Proof Bakery and the Healthy Church Initiative fought off stiff competition to win Cinnamon Project Lab 2018 at The Mercers’ Hall in London.

The final saw the five finalists present their initiatives in front of a panel of judges and more than 120 invited guests and 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.

Responding to Relevant Needs

Project Lab 2018’s one aim was to find community projects that respond to social needs in Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic communities, and have a desire to share their work with churches across the UK.

London-based Healthy Church Initiative does this by providing a six-week health intervention which educates and transforms nutritional health in African-Caribbean churches and communities.

Proof Bakery operates from Coventry and enables churches to support refugee women into work through a bakery business where they sell and deliver artisanal bread subscriptions to local church collection points.

Replicating Great Work

Thanks to the generosity of The Mercers’ Company, the projects will each receive a development grant of £30,000, plus entry onto the Cinnamon Incubator Programme, where they will benefit from: expert coaching, world class training, targeted marketing and access to industry and government contacts. This support will help the initiatives to develop to a point where they can be replicated in other churches across the UK.

In addition to the top prizes, more than £9,000 was pledged on the night from guests at the event, to support the development of the other three finalists, Breaking Bread, Living Loss and Proudtobeme. A proportion of the money pledged will be used to fund these three initiatives through the Cinnamon Incubator, so they too can replicate their work on a national scale.

Great Experience

“I feel euphoric and shell-shocked. All the projects were amazing and I had no idea we would win,” said Chernise Neo from Proof Bakery. “The support has been incredible. I think I’ll walk around in shock for a few days, but I know that we have a lot of work ahead of us.”

“The support from Cinnamon has been fantastic. We have been like brothers and sisters. Everyone has been so lovely,” said Shola Oladipo from Healthy Church Initiative. “Winning means that we can support the church to go and do what the church is supposed to do – it’s been amazing.”

If your church is doing great work to address real and pressing needs within your community, then you might like to consider applying for a future Cinnamon Project Lab. To find out more, sign up to receive the monthly Cinnamon Newsletter HERE.