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Healthy Church Initiative – Two Years On

Cinnamon Incubator Competition – two years on  

It’s more than two years since the Healthy Church Initiative took top spot at the 2018 Cinnamon Incubator Competition Final and with the help of the Cinnamon Project Incubator, the project continues to grow. 

Healthy Church Initiative helps churches to transforms nutritional health in Black – African Caribbean churches and communities by delivering a six-week health intervention which educates them and provides practical advice to inspire change. Through the Cinnamon Project Incubator, we’ve been walking with them every step of the way.  

Feb 2018  

“Applying gave us the push to commit to taking the idea forward. In the process five directors came on board and we became a CIC,” says Shola Oladipo, CEO and Founder of Healthy Church Initiative  

July 2018 

Healthy Church Initiative wins the 2018 Cinnamon Incubator Competition Final. The recognition that someone else caught the vision gave me so much encouragement.” she says.  

August 2018 

Winning the Cinnamon Incubator Competition gives Shola the opportunity to meet with a number of London Borough Councils and input into their health policies.  

November 2018  

“The first Cinnamon Residential highlighted weaknesses in the organisation around team dynamics and management. But we also received help to divide responsibilities and professionalise operations,” she says. 

December 2019

Healthy Church Initiative works with Southwark Council, Public Health England and the NHS Kings’ Fund. “Cinnamon’s name helps open doors and the fact we received funding helped us gain trust,” says Shola.

March 2019 

The team hone their products with the help of focus groups and church leaders and Shola enrols onto a PHD at Coventry University to further explore the role of faith in health services. 

May 2019

Shola draws on peer support provided by fellow Cinnamon Recommended Projects. More dieticians are recruited enabling Shola to fulfil speaking engagements, sit on local council committees and advise NHS England on their Sugar Swap campaign.

Healthy Church Initiative are invited to write regular health columns for Keep the Faith magazine and Testimony newspaper.

June 2019

In recognition of Healthy Church Initiative’s work to improve the health of Black and Caribbean Community, Shola is invited to meet the Queen.

August 2019 

“It can be lonely as a leader, but the support of mentors and other project on the Incubator has been a constant source of encouragement,” says Shola.  

January 2020  

Healthy Church Initiative is relaunched. Cinnamon’s Co-Chief Executive, Mike Royal is the keynote speaker and Cinnamon Advisor Victoria Lawrence hosts the event.  

May 2020  

Shola is invited to speak at The 7th European Conference on Religion, Spirituality and Health in Lisbon.  

April 2020

Description automatically generated with medium confidenceThroughout lockdown, Healthy Church Initiative continues to receive support from Cinnamon to adapt resources and develop online tools.

Future plans

Shola continues to build relationships with public health bodies outside of London, building relationships with churches and long-term planning.

2021 Cinnamon Incubator Competition

If you know a great church-led initiative that is already achieving changing lives and would love to replicate what they’re doing through more churches, then they can apply for the Cinnamon Incubator Competition.