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.
“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
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.
Winning the Cinnamon Incubator Competition gives Shola the opportunity to meet with a number of London Borough Councils and input into their health policies.
“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.
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.
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.
Shola draws on peer support provided by fellow 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.
In recognition of Healthy Church Initiative’s work to improve the health of Black and Caribbean Community, Shola is invited to meet the Queen.
“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.
Healthy Church Initiative is relaunched. Cinnamon’s Co-Chief Executive, Mike Royal is the keynote speaker and Cinnamon Advisor Victoria Lawrence hosts the event.
Shola is invited to speak at The 7th European Conference on Religion, Spirituality and Health in Lisbon.
Description automatically generated with medium confidenceThroughout lockdown, Healthy Church Initiative continues to receive support from Cinnamon to adapt resources and develop online tools.
Shola continues to build relationships with public health bodies outside of London, building relationships with churches and long-term planning.