Bishop Richard Moth, Chair of the Charles Plater Trust, announced the winners of the 2022 grants round at the charity’s centenary mass for its founder, Fr Charles Plater, followed by the annual awards ceremony and reception at Allen Hall, London on 25 May 2022.
To a packed audience at the event, Bishop Richard Moth said:
“We are delighted to be partnering tonight with nineteen charities, both large and small, to play our part to help them rebuild the social fabric of our divided society in the wake of a pandemic that undoubtedly hit the poorest hardest. Over a hundred years since the death of our founder, the social prophet, Fr Charles Plater SJ, we too are living out his enduring legacy to read the signs of the times and respond with compassion and solidarity.”
Cathy Corcoran, Chair of the Grant Making Committee, said;
“After having to pause our grant making in 2021, I’m delighted that we are back as a funder, stronger than ever before. We had more than double the number of applications for grants this year than in any year before, which just indicates the level of social need that is out there. We’d love to find other philanthropists who might like to join us in funding more of the high-quality project proposals we receive, so that we could do even more in the future to support the work of charities at the coal face. I know from first-hand experience that our partner charities deliver well, that our grants make a real difference in people’s lives, and it’s just a privilege to act together for social justice at home in this way.”
The nineteen diverse projects winning a grant encompass a broad span of social justice activities, including assisting refugees, the homeless, trafficked girls and women, those with disabilities and those suffering financial and educational disadvantage. A number of projects will focus on vulnerable children and young people. In total the CPT provided funding of £528,834, the largest amount the Trust has ever awarded in one year, and it has pledged to maintain this level of funding over successive years. The CPT also knows that it has reached some BME led charities because of the monitoring question added to the new online application process for the first time. As is to be expected, most, but not all, of the charities funded were faith-based charities.
One of the grant recipients, Sarah Williams, collecting the award on behalf of Depaul UK, said:
“I would like to offer our sincere thanks to the Charles Plater Trust for our £50,000 grant to our Nightstop London service. Our emergency accommodation provision offers a vital lifeline for young people who are experiencing homelessness in the capital, and with CPT’s support we will now be able to reach more of those people.
The pandemic has resulted in devastating increases in unemployment, mental health problems, domestic abuse and family breakdown. These issues are likely to translate into rising levels of homelessness and with CPT’s support, we will be there to help.”
The nineteen successful award holders in 2022 are:
Bury Fellowship – North West
The CPT grant will pay for the salary costs of the children and families lead worker for one day a week. The worker runs an early intervention project that recruits and trains volunteer coaches to coach children who are struggling at school for a variety of reasons. Coaches aim to help the child to identify the issues in school that cause them problems and to learn how to deal with these in positive ways. The project is designed to improve the aspiration levels of the children who are coached, while at the same time having fun and learning new skills, all designed to improve their life chances. Working in the primary school in the most deprived area of Bury, the project brings hope and confidence to these youngsters, improving their self-esteem and futures.
Catholics for AIDS Prevention & Support – North West and East of England.
CAPS prioritises the pastoral & spiritual needs of people living with HIV (PLWH), who often report that their needs are not understood well within the HIV voluntary sector or in local churches. CAPS address this exclusion through ‘communities of peer support’. CAPS has an established track record of supporting PLWH in this country, who are disproportionately disadvantaged due to poverty, immigration status, ethnicity & comorbidity. The benefits of peer support to health-outcomes, well-being & overcoming disadvantage are proven. As the only provider of Christian HIV pastoral ministry in this country, CAPS is uniquely placed to ‘make faith sense of HIV’ for its service users. CPT funding will contribute to the ‘Positive Catholics’ peer support community ‘re-launch’ post-covid, in the Manchester area, and establish one new network of faith-based support for PLWH within the East of England.
East Berkshire Down Syndrome Support Group – South East.
The CPT grant will help provide weekly speech and language therapy sessions for 10 pre-school children with Down Syndrome delivered by specially trained therapists. The sessions focus on social skills, ora-motor development, vocabulary and sentence building and muscle control. This therapy gives these children the best possible start to life, in the aim that they can go on to mainstream education and independent lives. Funding these sessions helps protect the dignity of an at-risk group, in a societal context where 95% of babies diagnosed with Downs Syndrome in the womb are terminated.
Heart of Tamworth Community Project (HOT) – West Midlands.
The Heart of Tamworth Community Project (HoT) works to support people across their local community, with a particular emphasis on those who live with the consequences of poverty and deprivation. Its trustees now want to embark on a significant piece of work to determine the next set of priorities. Having achieved a great deal in a short period of time, including launching a community café and activity programme, the CPT grant will now support a consultation exercise to allow HoT to take account of changing community needs in a post-Covid environment.
St. Dunstan & John Vianney Church, Moston – North West.
This parish-based project will inspire and train existing and new volunteers in Catholic Social Thinking to initiate practical responses to the mission needs in the area. Moston is an inner-city urban area and has multiple levels of deprivation. The demand for support from the church community has considerably increased since Covid, and is continuing to increase as people struggle to make ends meet. The grant will help increase the number of Community Volunteers to 25 and will fund community leadership & Catholic Social Teaching courses for 60 parishioners. These will help run a welfare support and signposting services and help extend the use of the parish Community Centre into new areas of engagement with the wider community.
Street Doctors – London.
The CPT grant will be used to pilot a programme in South London to train young community members as ‘zero responders’, capable of providing lifesaving first aid in the event of a violent attack. The training will be part of peace and reconciliation initiatives in Peckham and Croydon, where communities have been traumatised by repeated violent and fatal incidents involving young people recently. Street Doctors’ presence has been requested by community members in these locations, as residents look to create sustainable responses to end the violence which is intensifying as economic and social conditions change following the pandemic.
St Vincent de Paul Westcliff on Sea Conference – East of England.
This local SVP conference has a large volunteer group that provides support for disadvantaged families and children in the parish and more generally in Southend. They provide a food bank and vouchers to low-income families, as well as a weekly hot meal. Families are also offered help with essential heating costs over the winter months. The CPT funding will enable the SVP Southend to help 120 low-income families in Southend experiencing food poverty, and an additional 70 families have access to fuel vouchers.
The Together Free Foundation – South East.
The Together Free Foundation is an emerging national free-church initiative helping churches and communities’ partner towards slavery-free communities. This is done through building the capacity of churches and faith groups to engage in the public sphere through localised antislavery partnership engagements. The CPT grant will support the ongoing grassroots work of SAMS (Southend Against Modern Slavery) Partnership and its developing Survivor Care Project. SAMS uses community collaboration to seek local solutions to the local problems of modern slavery and human trafficking. In addition, the grant will increase the survivor care co-ordinators hours from 13.5 hours to 19 hours each week, for a period of a year. This will enable SAMS to directly befriend and mentor several more survivors of human trafficking.
The Vincentian Volunteers – North West.
The Vincentian Volunteer Programme recruits young people aged 18-35 from all over the world, including from the UK. The volunteers are then placed in partner charities where they work, providing their time and commitment to the programme free of charge while deepening their own faith. The CPT grant will provide for volunteer food and living allowances and help build a network of engaged Catholic leaders of the future.
Advice for Renters – London.
Advice for Renters (A4R) Money Mobile Money Advice Centre
This BME led charity supports individuals from financial subsistence to financial capability, training some service uses to become ‘Community Money Mentors’ to further serve their communities. The CPT grant will enable the charity to expand their work across West London over the next 18 months, by converting a donated double decker bus into an accessible ‘Mobile Money Advice Centre.’ The bus will park in different locations allowing A4R core services to offer financial inclusion advice in the heart of communities to approximately 3,000 people over the next two years. Service users will also be encouraged to join A4R Money 6-8 weekly financial capability programmes.
Citywise Mentoring Ltd – North West.
The grant will allow Citywise mentoring to significantly expand the number of young people who can take part in their character mentoring projects in Manchester. Children from some of the most disadvantaged areas of the UK will have access to more opportunities for positive development through school-based mentoring projects, after-school clubs offering enrichment through music, arts, drama, digital and cooking activities, as well as family fun days and holiday camps.
DePaul UK – London.
Nightstop London: Across London, De Paul UK trains and vets volunteer hosts so they can provide emergency accommodation for young people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness in their spare rooms. Meanwhile, the Nightstop London team support the individual to identify the issues that led to their crisis point and to find an appropriate longer-term housing solution for them.
Destitution Project – North West.
The Destitution Project (DP) provides casework services for asylum seekers, including those refused and with no recourse to public funds. DP’s Drop-in offers asylum seekers and refugees a safe, welcoming space to meet others, get a hot meal, clothing, food parcels, haircuts, English lessons and do arts and crafts.
CPT funding will help the DP expand its casework support to meet the needs of new and existing asylum seekers in Bolton. The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in Home Office pausing both existing and new asylum cases. Since the second half of 2021, all cases have started to progress, and demand in the Bolton area exceeds available support so that new clients are frequently kept waiting. CPT’s funding will allow the DP to retain their experienced caseworker and recruit a second caseworker to increase their capacity and resilience.
Provision House – West Midlands
Provision House is a long-established training provider in the West Midlands. They offer a unique route to employment programme, from pre-employment readiness, support with CVs and practical, hands-on training, across a range of service areas. Recent feedback has shown them that there is a real need for a programme that is specifically tailored for young people as one does not currently exist in their area.
The CPT grant will allow them to employ a specialist young person’s worker who will act as a tutor and programme coordinator for a project to support young people to find secure routes into paid employment with one of their partner organisations, after embarking on appropriate training with Provision House. An estimated 240 young people will engage in the new comprehensive training and work-experience programme, and be supported into employment opportunities, apprenticeships, traineeships, further education, or further volunteering opportunities.
Street Teams – West Midlands.
Family Partnerships Project: This project is the only one of its kind in Walsall providing specialist face-to-face support for exploited children and young people and their families, to enable them to cope with their abusive experiences and to reduce the risks of any further exploitation occurring to the victims, or other siblings within the family.
The grant will help Street Teams to continue to run its Family Partnerships Project for a further two years. This will provide the team with the financial security to explore how it can extend this project to help more families with a focus on early intervention, before children and young people are abused. It will also enable Street Teams to concentrate its fundraising efforts on developing this project. Some of the families that we currently work with have stated that earlier intervention would have been welcomed and may have prevented their child being exploited.
Soundabout – South East.
Oxford and Beyond Inclusive Choir: Soundabout’s Oxford and Beyond Inclusive Choir enables people with profound and severe learning disabilities to sing and make music together with a community of mixed ability singers from a range of backgrounds. This project will expand the choir, develop young people as Emerging Leaders, and enable full participation through an Equity Group.
The grant will enable Soundabout to hold fully inclusive and accessible Choir sessions both in-person (bi-monthly) and online (18 per year). By welcoming all voices, they aim to be as inclusive as possible, and actively remove barriers to participation from those with severe and profound learning disabilities. They will develop young disabled choristers as Emerging Leaders – to be responsible for leading songs and supporting the delivery of the choir into the future.
The choir performed at the CPT event on 25 May.
The Baytree Centre – London.
The CPT grant will enable the Baytree Centre to run the ‘Fatima project’ which will support the integration of vulnerable families through educational, training and development programmes for women and girls. The Fatima project will integrate 200 vulnerable migrant women in the UK by reducing their isolation and barriers to their participation in civic life. This will be achieved through post arrival activities such as language classes; one to one mentoring; volunteer and employability support; recreational activities; civic knowledge and inclusion activities including parenting support and will capture the learnings from the project to influence policy in the area of migrant integration.
Transforming Lives for Good – across England and Wales.
TLG is all about helping churches to bring hope and a future to struggling children. With their network of partner churches, TLG are committed to reaching out to some of the most vulnerable children in the UK with a focus on education and expertise in school exclusions, emotional wellbeing and holiday hunger. The CPT grant will fund TLG’s Early Intervention programme which brings a practical solution to support schools, and children and families in their community by training, resourcing and linking volunteer coaches with children that are struggling. It is fundamentally about spending time to listen to individual children; help give them the tools to tackle the underlying issues in why they are struggling in their learning or behaviour and ultimately let them know that someone cares and values them. By 1 coach, spending at least 1 hour a week with one child for a year at a time, TLG have seen dramatic impacts on a child’s life chances.
West London Mission – London
WLM empowers people affected by homelessness, poverty and trauma to make positive changes in their lives. WLM St Luke’s is a vibrant community space in Lambeth that hosts a range of projects and classes to help develop and empower at least 450 people from some of the borough’s most deprived areas. WLM aims to reduce social exclusion and improve the wellbeing of their users, alongside improving their life skills. Their work is crucial in helping to prevent situations of financial hardship, serious debt and homelessness.
The CPT grant will enable WLM to run a range of targeted programmes which will include training and skills development activities to develop essential skills such as budgeting and financial management, learning to get online, cooking and preparing food on a tight budget and English language proficiency. It will also enable WLM to reduce local food poverty.