News and events Stories 'Hope Beyond' aims to help churches meet changing local needs Allchurches Trust has launched a new grants programme, Hope Beyond, which is aimed at enabling churches and Christian charities to meet changing need within their communities as the longer-term impact of COVID-19 becomes clearer. Funding projects that will enable people, organisations and communities to flourish in life after lockdown, Hope Beyond will help churches, Christian charities and communities to adapt to the challenges and opportunities presented by the pandemic – building resilience and encouraging hope. Grants of up to £50,000 are available, and the amount churches and Christian charities will receive will depend upon the cost of the project and level of need in their community, ranging from 10% of project cost through to 80%. In developing the Hope Beyond programme, Allchurches Trust carried out an online consultation to better understand what their beneficiaries felt the key needs of people of all ages in their communities would be as a direct result of the Coronavirus pandemic. The Hope Beyond research report* shows that more than two-thirds of church respondents expect loneliness and isolation to be the most pressing need in the next three months, with 58% of churches predicting the same when looking a year ahead. The issue of mental health and wellbeing was the second highest-rated concern for around half of churches, while many also reported feeling limited by a lack of digital knowledge and/or technology – both within the church and in the wider community. More detail on the findings is available here. The Hope Beyond grants programme will, therefore, look to address these three themes: Projects responding to the issues of loneliness and isolation exacerbated by the Coronavirus pandemic, where new and/or enhanced support is being proposed Projects focused on growing community resilience and promoting mental and emotional health and wellbeing Projects focused on growing technological capability and resilience and supporting those without online access to get online through training and support. To find out more information about the programme, read the research report and apply online, see www.allchurches.co.uk/hopebeyond *Allchurches Trust online research carried out in June 2020 with beneficiary contacts from churches, Christian charities, dioceses and cathedrals. Note that the Hope Beyond research report features church results only. 840 responses were received – 638 from churches. This article was originally published on Wednesday, 22nd July 2020.