THE two Christian charities chosen as winners of the 2019 Cinnamon Network’s Project Lab were announced as Emerge Advocacy and Truth Be Told, at an awards ceremony on Tuesday evening.
Emerge Advocacy works to help young people who attend accident and emergency departments as a result of attempted suicide or self-harm by providing support through volunteers. Truth Be Told works with dementia care-homes to counter loneliness by bringing young families into the homes to tell stories and sing songs with the residents.
The two winners, announced at Mercers’ Hall, London, each receive a £30,000 development grant. Along with the three other finalists, they join Project Incubator, a programme that helps the charities grow and develop over two years.
Cinnamon’s associate director, Mark Kitson, who chaired the panel of judges, said that the people behind Emerge — Joy Wright and Elizabeth Butlin — had put their “heart and head” into their project, and showed “personal commitment but also methodology”.
On Truth Be Told, Mr Kitson said that the judges had “really liked the way that the lines were blurred between the benefactors and the beneficiaries”.
It was also announced on the evening that £61,500 had been raised from those in the room: enough to fund the Project Incubator course for all the finalists. The co-CEO of Cinnamon, Mike Royal, said that this year’s final was the “highest quality we have seen across the board”.
Ms Wright said: “We actually applied for Project Lab in 2017, and didn’t get through, but the process then helped us to change and improve what we were doing; so it’s incredible to come back and win.”
The founder of Truth Be Told, Gemma Gillard, said: “Through the process I’ve become even more sure that the church network is a solution to very big problem.”
The three other finalists were Flourish, Life Guards Healthy Hearts, and Mum2Mum.