2017 has been another year of growth at CUF. Thanks to your support we’ve been able to support people all over the country, tackling issues from food poverty to loneliness, from encouraging saving to bringing people together in diverse communities.
Here are 7 ways your support changed lives and communities in 2017.
1. 4,300 beds in winter night shelters
Thanks to the money raised by the wonderful people who took part in the Advent Sleepout Challenge last year, we were able to increase our support of winter night shelters up and down the country. This winter our Together Network will provide a whopping 4,300 bed spaces. Our aim is that these beds are just the first step to getting people off the streets permanently.
2. £1,006,486 awarded to local communities
Over the last couple of years, we have seen communities facing divisions that we hadn’t even considered only a few years back. Our Near Neighbours programme has been working hard in some of our most diverse communities to bring people together and heal the divisions that have been left by events like the EU referendum. One part of that work has seen us pump over £1m into local community projects since the start of the year.
3. More than 8,000 pupils saving
Our Just Finance Foundation has seen more than 8,000 pupils go through its LifeSaversprogramme since September. This means that these primary school pupils will be given the skills, attitude, and knowledge to manage money well. That is 8,000 children who have been given a better chance to avoid money problems when they grow up.
4. Our research revealed the extent of food poverty in Britain
In 2017 our research showed that 1 in 50 British adults used a food bank in 2016 and that 1 in 10 British adults missed celebrating a special occasion (e.g. birthday, Christmas, or other special occasion) because they couldn’t afford it. Our aim is that this research can be used to inform policy for and responses to food poverty across the country.
5. 250 pancake parties to tackle hunger
Back in February we had 250 fantastic parties happening across England as part of our Big Pancake Party campaign. Each one of these parties raised money to support our work with people who are going hungry. Given the findings of our research above, these pancake parties proved even more important. (The Big Pancake Party will be returning in 2018, so keep an eye out!)
6. There are now more than 200 Places of Welcome venues across England
Places of Welcome started as a small group of venues in the West Midlands, now it reaches communities across the country with more than 200 venues in churches, mosques, and community hubs. These venues are run by local people who work to make sure that everyone in their area has a place to go for a friendly face, a cup of tea, and a conversation if they need it.
7. The lookup tool is used again and again and again
Our lookup tool is one of our most used resources. It provides data on every parish in England and is designed to equip the church to respond to areas of need in each parish. In 2017 the lookup tool has had more than 15,000 unique visitors!
So, thank you for your support in 2017. As you can see, it has made a real difference.
We’re not done!
Next year we want things to be even bigger and even better! We want to keep this amazing work growing. That’s our hope for 2018. Why not join us for the ride?