Renew 37, Valuing People with Mental Illness

Today’s Cinnamon Bite features recent Cinnamon Project Lab joint winner, Ruth Rice. We talk to her about her fledgling project, Renew 37.


“love and friendship on the high street in a place that is familiar”

Q: What made you first decide to run Renew37?

My own experience of burnout and recovery made me realise how  lonely mental ill-health can feel even in church. As I became increasingly aware of those around me also struggling, I felt Gods call to create an accessible & welcoming place where people access mental health support, without complication or referral. Renew 37 is now a place, acting as; prayer room, coffee shop & quiet space where people are valued, listened to – and signposted towards help

Q: How would you say your community has been affected by the project?

Renew 37 is not only changing lives – but changing culture. Our value of people being ‘known by name not label’ is changing both our church and local community culture around the stigma of mental health. At Renew people are treated as valued individuals, feeling less isolated and also reporting far fewer hospital visits and crisis team calls.


Ruth successfully joint-won our Project Lab competition earlier this year.

Q: How was the Cinnamon Project Lab experience for you?

Project Lab was such an incredible experience. Not only has it hugely increased awareness & interest in what we do, but the funding and unique coaching has allowed me to offer more support to those with a heart for Mental Health & community wellbeing. We’ve already seen the second Renew space open. Many others are in the early stages of development.

Q: What do you think the future holds?

The future is so exciting for Renew – we increasingly see churches embrace the task of creating a place of acceptance, dignity and promotion of wellbeing. It’s my heart to see every Local Church open a Renew space, for no one to feel isolated in their mental health needs. For every Community to have a table at which people feel loved, welcomed & in the presence of God.