There are millions of people throughout England who wish to reach out and help others. CUF was established by the Church of England as a practical response to unmet need and has been active in local communities for over 30 years. Our vision is to see people and communities all over England flourish and enjoy life in all its fullness. Our role is to channel positive energy, providing inspiration, resources and support networks to assist people in making a tangible impact. We do this in different ways, including through
The Together Network, in 2015, facilitated almost 350 partnership projects, working alongside over 700 local and national partners. These partnerships help people to avoid duplication and to learn from others’ experience; they also encourage innovation by bringing new partners together for the first time.
Near Neighbours has two key objectives:
The Just Finance Network, building on the successful pilot of the Credit Champions Network, is designed to address the problem of financial exclusion which is a major issue for individuals and communities. The Just Finance Network is designed to provide hands-on support to help people manage their money better and access responsible sources of credit. It has already been piloted in London and Liverpool where it has generated an estimated £2.2m in social value.
Through the Together Network of local relational partnerships, we work with churches, national and local government, charities and foundations, as well as individual supporters, to bring about positive change in communities.
The Together Network aims to develop capacity for action at a local level, and to inform, inspire, resource and support local churches and organisations,as they work to address issues of social justice and relationships between communities.
As an established, and growing, national network, it is also able to share good practice and encourage joined-up strategic activities over a wider area, and to act as a source of valuable information and influence at a national level.
Near Neighbours brings people together who are near neighbours in communities that are religiously and ethnically diverse, so that they can get to know each other better, build relationships of trust, and collaborate together on initiatives that improve the local community they live in. The Near Neighbours small grants programme has now awarded over £3.5 million in grants, reaching almost one million people across the country. A clear distinctive feature of Near Neighbours is the range of activity that is funded, including community gardening, football clubs, multi-faith work with homeless people, women’s group, World War One commemorations, interfaith open days, museum exhibitions, leadership programmes and much more.
Just Finance is designed to provide hands-on support to help people manage their money better and access responsible sources of credit. It uses the national infrastructure of the Together Network to unlock the resources of local churches to be used to improve financial resilience in their neighbourhoods. It also represents the perfect means of mobilising those who are active in supporting their community and ensuring proper accountability for the programme’s delivery.