Have you and your local church been wondering what more you can do to help people impacted by the coronavirus, but at the same time adhere to Government advice?

Here are some of the stories and models of creativity that are emerging in local churches around the world as ways to encourage, serve and help those in this time of need.

Each project you read about on this page is freely given for your church to use. We hope and pray it is a gift to your community.

THE CINNAMON TEAM

Care Packs

This project is a way for churches to provide for the essential practical needs of victims of domestic violence so they are free not to immediately return home.

SOURCE: CityHope Church, Ipswich, Australia

INGREDIENTS
  • Victims of domestic violence
  • Relationship with civic leaders
  • Lead volunteer
  • Donations of the essential items required
  • Volunteers to make the care packs
METHOD
  1. Build relationships of trust with civic leaders eg police and hospitals.
  2. Research the practical needs to victims of domestic violence.
  3. Make Care Packs suites for different people eg men and women, children and adults.
  4. Distribute Care Packs to civic partners and monitor ongoing top ups.

Project Mask

This project is a way for churches to provide much needed coronavirus protection face masks to key workers in care homes, clinics and other community organisations.

SOURCE: Helderberg Dutch Reform Church, Cape Town, South Africa

INGREDIENTS
  • Key workers in need of protective face masks
  • A lead volunteer
  • Face mask template
  • Volunteers who can sew
  • Material, elastic & filter (known in South Africa as ‘spunbond’)
METHOD
  1. Be asked by, or find, key workers who need protective face masks
  2. Recruit a team of volunteers who can sew
  3. Download the Project Mask template
    Source the material, elastic and gauze for the face mask
  4. Arrange a regular pick up and drop off point for the materials and finished product
  5. Deliver completed protective face masks to key workers

Community Safety Kit

Community Safety Kit is a way for churches to help people remain safe from infection from COVID-19.

SOURCE: New Birth Winners Church, South Africa

INGREDIENTS
  • People vulnerable to catching COVID-19.
  • A lead volunteer co-ordinator.
  • Team of volunteers able to sew.
  • Protective face mask materials.
  • Small bottles of hand sanitiser.
  • COVID-19 health and safety leaflets.
  • Bags.
METHOD
  1. Identify community of people who are vulnerable to being infected by COVID-19.
  2. Recruit a lead volunteer and team (who can sew).
  3. Source materials for masks and also hand sanitisers and educational hygiene leaflets.
  4. Make protective face masks using template.
  5. Pack ‘Community Safety Kits’ and distribute to community.

Blessing Neighbourhood

Blessing Neighbourhood is a way for churches to work together to provide meals to vulnerable elderly people and refugees.

SOURCE: Maranatha Community Transformation Church, Amsterdam, NL

INGREDIENTS
  • Vulnerable elderly people and refugees.
  • A group of seven churches one for each day of the week.
  • A team of volunteers at each church who can cook and drive.
  • A kitchen and donated food.
METHOD
  1. Ask vulnerable elderly people and refugees if they would like to receive a daily meal service.
  2. Make a rota so that a different church is responsible for a different day of the week.
  3. Each church has a kitchen team who will prepare the ingredients, make the meals and clear up.
  4. Each church has a drivers team who drop off the meals.

Touch

Touch is a way for churches to serve elderly people and others in the community who are feeling isolated during COVID-19 by providing a telephonic befriending service and delivering essential provisions.

SOURCE: iCan Community Church, London, UK

INGREDIENTS
  • Elderly people and others who may feel isolated.
  • A lead volunteer co-ordinator
  • Team of volunteers with the ability to befriend, shop and deliver.
METHOD
  1. Assign a team of first responders to phone people who may be isolating and ask if they would like to receive regular calls.
  2. Allocate a volunteer caller to the person in need who will telephone them on a regular basis, often daily, with words of encouragement and engaging conversation.
  3. If the person is in need of essential food supplies allocate a volunteer shopper to deliver regularly.
  4. Accountability forms are completed which keep the church informed of any other needs we can assist with.

Love Your Neighbour

Love Your Neighbour is a way for churches to start community support groups to help people self isolating as a result of the coronavirus, with shopping, prescriptions and other errands.

SOURCE: St Mike’s Church, London, UK

INGREDIENTS
  • A lead volunteer
  • Printer
  • WhatsApp group administrator
  • Volunteer team of practical people
METHOD
  1. Write a letter inviting people to be part of a community support group.
  2. Deliver the letter to all the households in your street or micro-community.
  3. Create a WhatsApp group to facilitate community support group communication
  4. Write a second letter reassuring people ‘you are not alone’ and encouraging them to ask for help when needed. Include a couple of telephone numbers.
  5. Deliver the letter to all the households in your street or micro-community.
  6. Moderate the WhatsApp group and ensure that requests and offers of help are being matched.

Lockdown Snail Mail

Lockdown Snail Mail is a way for churches to stay connected with people in the community who are particularly isolated during the coronavirus.

SOURCE: Lifeline Church, London, UK

INGREDIENTS
  • A lead volunteer
  • Volunteer team of letter writers
  • Paper, envelopes and stamps
METHOD
  1. Identify people in the community who are particularly isolated due to coronavirus and ask them if they would like someone to write to them.
  2. Recruit a team of people from the church who are willing to send a letter, card, pictures, poems or something else creative each week to someone in the community.
  3. Co-ordinate linking up volunteer writers and community members. This can be the same person each week or rotated.
  4. Post or hand delivery (built into daily exercise excursion from the house) weekly snail mail.

Lunch At Home

This project is a way for churches to help children who would normally receive free meals at school by delivering packed lunches prepared by the school.

SOURCE: All Hallows Church, Leeds, UK & Rainbow Junktion, Leeds, UK

INGREDIENTS
  • Relationship with a local school
  • Children who would normally receive free school meals
  • Permission from parents/guardian
  • Team of volunteers with transportation
METHOD
  1. Offer to help your local school with packed lunch delivery.
  2. Recruit volunteers who have transportation (cars or bikes).
  3. School gain permission from parents/guardians to provide addresses to volunteers for delivery.
  4. Pick-up packed lunches from school kitchens and deliver to children.
  5. Other help made available to those families.

The Listening Ear

This project is a way for churches to help people experiencing anxiety about the impact of coronavirus on their lives. People may also agree to be prayed for if they wish.

SOURCE: VEZ Church, Zwolle, Netherlands

INGREDIENTS
  • A lead volunteer
  • Public telephone number
  • Webpage
  • Volunteer team of listeners
  • Training
METHOD
  1. Secure the use of a telephone number that can be made public.
  2. Create a webpage where people can request a ‘listening ear’.
  3. Appoint a volunteer co-ordinator to receive requests and allocate a listening ear volunteer.
  4. Recruit and train volunteers to be listening ears via telephone and video calls.
  5. Promote the listening ear service through social media.

Craft In The Community

This project is a way for local churches to deliver community children’s work and support families in the midst of the coronavirus lockdown.

SOURCE: St Peter’s Church, Bexley, UK

INGREDIENTS
  • A lead volunteer who is creative
  • Craft materials
  • Some financial resources
  • Volunteer team of packers
  • Social media administrator
METHOD
  1. Design the craft activity and instructions around a story, theme or value.
  2. Purchase the crafts and materials.
  3. Ask volunteers to make up the craft packs.
  4. Safe collection (or delivery) on people’s daily exercise or essential shop.
  5. Curate the social media to display the results of the craft activity, share the learning and create community.

Care Home Friends

This project is a way for local churches to support care home residents. Statistically, even without coronavirus, those in a care home are twice as isolated as those people in the community.

SOURCE: Care Home Friends, Richmond, UK

INGREDIENTS
  • A lead volunteer
  • Tablet computers or pen pals!
  • Volunteer team of befriends
  • Training in befriending
METHOD
  1. Telephone your local care home and find out what you can do to help residents stay connected.
  2. Offer to provide volunteers who would befriend residents who feel disconnected.
  3. Provide a tablet computer with video telephone a facility that they can contact their volunteer and family and friends.
If your church is doing something innovative or new to help people in your community impacted by the coronavirus we would love to hear from you.
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