Chard Detached Win £5K

Last night was Opportunity Chard

Buried Alive movie Mamma Roma movie full

when 32 projects came together to put their case for funding before the community. 30k was up for grabs and the total all the projects were asking for was 99K so competion was hot. Everyone had a display board and 3 mins to talk about their project. Then the community voted for the project they most wanted to support. People had 5 votes and could only vote once for each project. There were over 400 people there and we were on first. Kevin one of the older yp spoke brilliantly about the need for lights for the skate park and was followed by Sam who as an under 16 couldn’t vote, so he summed up asking the adults to vote for us as they couldn’t. 90 mins later everyone had done their presentations and votes were cast.

We came 4th with just shy of 100 votes and so got the whole 5k we were asking for. It was a nervous night, but the young people did brilliantly!Macross dvd


VOLUNTARY SECTOR FUNDING – A number of discussion papers were commissioned by the Office of the Third Sector during the Government’s Third Sector Review. These include ‘Improving small scale grant funding for local voluntary and community organisations’. See Meanwhile in its recent report Hearts and Minds: commissioning from the voluntary sector, (see last issue of Youth News) the Audit Commission said there was no evidence councils were reducing total expenditure on grants. It claimed they were merely “aligning their grant giving better with their strategic prioritiesâ€?. However, Kevin Curley, chief executive of Navca, has written to Steve Bundred, the commission’s chief executive, to dispute that claim. He said it did not accord with a Navca survey of local infrastructure organisations in 2006 that found 27 per cent of local authorities were no longer providing grant aid to local organisations. His letter read: “We do have to question the basis on which you reached your conclusion about local authority grant aid. Of the 14 authorities you surveyed, only nine provided you with information about grants. Of the nine, five had increased grant aid between 2002/03 and 2004/05 and four had reduced it. This represents a very small sample and does not appear to us to support the conclusion you reachedâ€?.

COMMUNITY ASSETS PROGRAMME – this is a £30m fund from the Office of the Third Sector and delivered by the Big Lottery Fund to enable third sector organisations to have greater control over the assets they use, such as community buildings. It will facilitate the transfer of genuine assets from local authorities to third sector organisations for their use as community resources. The programme will offer grants of between £150,000 and £1 million for refurbishment of local authority buildings, including community centres and other multi-purpose facilities, so they can benefit both local communities and the third sector organisations that take them on. There will be a single bidding round for all applications, which closes on 15th November 2007. Application details can be seen at

Bone Dry video

The Shaggy Dog release

Sharing Mission Across Boundaries

I’ve been involved for a few years now with an inter-church youth work in our town. Perhaps the biggest challenge it has given me is “on what basis can a shared, inter-church, mission take place?”

Richard’s post the other day about equality Bone Dry the movie has inspired me to think about how a work can happen in an inter-church context.

Our natural tendency is to want to own the mission that we are involved in, and similarly if we are funding something we also want to own it and have a good deal of say in how that mission happens. When stakeholders are from different churches they might feel different things about how mission should work and they might feel different pressures from those in their churches, so it is perhaps more difficult to reconcile differences and come to agreement over what should happen.

I think that what an inter-church mission can be is:

  1. A resource.
  2. A part of reducing divides between different churches.
  3. An invitation to work in a way that has the side effect of breaking down division.
  4. A challenge to work with people we do not necessarily see eye to eye with.
  5. An opportunity to learn submission.
  6. An opportunity to fit into a jigsaw over which we do not have control.
  7. A way of learning to accept what others have to give, without pushing them to give what we think they should.

Perhaps our biggest challenge is to give up some of the control mechanisms that we are used to having in our smaller, individual churches. This does make us more vulnerable to the actions of others, but perhaps we are also becoming more vulnerable to God and his will as we learn to relinquish our own ideas!

I do find it scary and I’m convinced there is a lot, lot more to learn about this. I feel like a fearful newbie to be honest, but at least I can look back and see the work God has enabled so far.

Votes for 16 year olds and other news

The Government has announced the first wave of 40 Respect Areas. The Department for Education and Skills is investing a further £6 million for parenting classes in the 40 areas in 2007/2008.

‘Raising inter-agency working to a higher level’
The National Association of Connexions Partnerships are being funded through the Children’s Workforce Development Council to run four one-day conferences for the different occupational groups who work with young people. It will be a chance for practitioners to reflect on the implications of the ‘integrated working’ agenda and have conversations with colleagues.

Futurebuilders England, the government-backed investment fund to help the third sector deliver better public services, is running a series of free regional roadshow events for regional infrastructure bodies to help build understanding of how Futurebuilders works and how to help others to apply for investment.

Votes at Sixteen
Jo Swinson (LD, East Dunbartonshire) has put down an Early Day Motion calling on the Government to allow a free vote on giving people over the age of 16 the right to vote.

Great opportunity for young people to get their voice heard

Dave Wiles from FYT and Roger Sainsbury have a meeting on 13th October with (Stephen Timms MP and Chief Secretary to the HM Treasury) to talk about issues relating to YOUTHWORK and GOVERNMENT FUNDING.

FYT are collecting young peoples views on the Young Peoples as Prophets website here and so we have a great opportunity to get young peoples views heard.

The extract from the Young people as Prophets site says
If you are a young person and want someone in POWER who has a say in how this country spends it’s money Dave will take any comments you post directly to him. If you are a youthworker, start exploring this issue with the young people you work with. Post your views under the category Politics/Funding Youth work.

Church Worker Wage Levels

There is an interesting call from Church Action on Poverty to ensure that the hourly wage of Church workers meets a minimum of £6.80.

This is expanded on by Ekklesia here.

This relates to my recent item Exactly Who is Doing the Giving?.

My two comments are:
1. The Poverty line in this country is a relative income which is a certain proportion of the average (or perhaps median, I can’t remember) income. This is a bit bizarre because as society gets wealthier the poverty line moves up – so getting further and further from the ‘real’ poverty line. Some countries use a ‘real’ poverty line where the calculation is based on people being able to afford certain basics including food and shelter.
2. Providing the legal minimum wage to a worker is often a way of getting a balance between the worker giving and the worker being provided for (and the providers of the wage doing the giving) – see my post mentioned above.

For a Christian worker to get a high wage and then give money to other things is very tax uneffective. For example the incremental tax rate (including tax credits, NI contributions, etc.) for two parents (of two kids) on the minimum wage is around 62% – i.e. if they earn an extra £1,000 in one year (perhaps doing overtime, or perhaps through a pay rise) they only see a net increase in income of £380. This is a massive tax rate which is interesting to compare with the rate of tax refund on ‘Gift Aid’ giving of only 22%.

Basically if you want to give it is better to be able to do this by accepting a lower wage (and effectively giving of your time to some degree) than having a higher wage and giving money. This is more tax efficient to the tune of £400 per £1,000 extra pay (in certain circumstances).