Marsh Award for Innovative Projects

This Award is run in partnership with The National Churches Trust and recognises a congregation running an innovative community project in a church building, made possible through the installation of new facilities such as meeting spaces, kitchens, toilets or improved access.
This Award is designed to show the positive impact installing these facilities has on churches and local communities and on harnessing the energy and enthusiasm of volunteers.

The National Churches Trust provides grants to enable the repair and revitalisation of church buildings for the benefit of all the community.

Pictured: St. Andrew's Church in Blagdon, winner of the 2016 Award for Innovative Projects

The 2017 winners are Playzone@Penzance and Home Community Cafe

Playzone @ Penzance, St John the Baptist Church

The Playzone at St John the Baptist Church in Cornwall is open 7 days a week for at least 4 hours a day and is a safe space for people to come with their children and play. Many other groups in the community use the space and there is the opportunity for children to attend after school activities in a safe place. The church is in an area of high deprivation where there are very few indoor spaces for children to play. Playzone is run by a mix of paid and volunteer staff and the opportunities for paid employment have created a great deal of interest in this area of high unemployment. The changes to the structure of the church so that the space could be made have provided much flexibility for the building and it has become a real space for the community to use in a number of ways and they really feel that it belongs to them. The local community were involved in each stage of the design and refurbishment process and local children helped to design the play equipment that was installed.

Home Community Café, Didsbury

Home Community Café is a registered charity which was established by the church in 2015, with the simple aim of improving the lives of people in Didsbury through strengthening community, valuing individuals and creating an inclusive and welcoming space where everybody knows that they belong. The café environment provides volunteering opportunities for people, the community feel of sharing food and drink, a focus for events and a place where other groups are also welcome to develop and share ideas and activities. The café caters for the whole community and is open from 10:30am to 5pm daily. Since Home Community Café was established, over 70 volunteers from all over Manchester have given their time to ensure the smooth running of the service, including from charities who the Café work with to offer volunteering placements.


National Churches Trust
7 Tufton Street