St Agatha's Community Kickstart Fund
St Agatha's Community Kickstart Fund is managed by the Diocese of Sheffield and administered by a Board of Trustees drawn from across Christian denominations within the Diocese. Its aim is to help organisations - of any faith or none - to deliver initiatives and services that will help build stronger communities, especially (but not exclusively) amongst those in the poorest and most deprived areas of the Diocese.
St Agatha's is a long-established Christian charity which has resourced hundreds of projects from Sheffield and parts of Barnsley in the west, to parishes in Goole, Marshlands and Hook at the extreme north eastern edge of the Diocese. Such projects have often involved the delivery of practical help and advice to groups of people who may have become isolated or marginalised through social or financial issues. This can include paying for or contributing towards training, equipment, furniture, etc. Grants may also act as kick-start funding in the hope that they will then attract more resources and support along the way. What cannot be funded are applications in support of political parties, funding for individuals, support of major appeals and on-going funding of salaries and church fabric appeals.
Grants are normally in the region of £500 - the aim is to help as many organisations as possible with the funds available - though grants up to £1,000 have been made for projects that the Trustees have considered to be exceptional.
Recent projects that have received grants include:
YMCA White Rose, Sheffield, to support a disability service for young people mainly within the borough of Rotherham, which offers a range of after-school groups and weekend activities, providing respite care for parents and fun and meaningful activities for young people with disabilities in a fun and safe environment.
The Gateway Church, Barnsley, to provide assistance for the development of an anti-poverty initiative helping people through emotional or financial crisis and teaching them how to manage and survive on a low income.
According to the Revd Dr Michael Bayley, Chair of the St Agatha's Board of Trustees: "Political and fiscal developments in our nation continue to marginalise or isolate different groups of people, resulting in social fragmentation and consequently, much effort is needed to overcome all the forces that cause division and alienation.
The Christian Church believes that Jesus Christ showed compassion and kindness to the marginalised people of his day - and he expects his followers to work with him and for him amongst such people in every generation. The Church is therefore committed to the task of breaking down prejudice and division and rebuilding community - but in practice, local churches and Christian groups often lack the resources to translate vision into reality. In a small way, St Agatha's Trustees seek to help supply kick-start funding for such groups, in the hope that they will then attract more resources and support along the way.
If you feel that your project/organisation might be eligible for a grant from St Agatha's, then please contact Julia Alder in the first instance on 01709 309133 or firstname.lastname@example.org