Sunderland and Boldon

CRCW - Helen Stephenson

Helen April2014 Web

CRCW Helen Stephenson took on this role in 2014, having served as the CRCW for the Grindon, Sunderland project for two terms (ending in 2013).

Consultation exercises at Roker URC and Stockton Road URC lead to developments in neighbouring streets plus City wide initiatives.  The idea of art as a therapy, art to promote wellbeing, art for community outreach and art and spirituality have emerged as key issues at Stockton Rd in partnership with other key organisations. At Roker, new initiatives have included Margaret’s Memory Cafe, the splendid IT unit in the Vestry, the monthly coffee morning and progress with the building developments. The holiday hunger sessions were well received with contact made with 30 young people. There is a new Community Interest Company called ‘Forget Me Knot’ hoping to use the upstairs room as office space as they get themselves established. They are offering to support the church with funding bids and their work and contacts should be a great asset to the church.

In addition Helen has 20% of her role with the Synod enabling her to offer short term support and advice to churches across the Synod and work with the Regional Faith in Our Communities programme supporting local faith based community activists to gain accredited recognition for their work.

Project aims:

• To support and encourage congregations who are engaged in community through education  and training   to enable effective implementation of ideas

• To offer objective and informed analysis of situations

• Continued development of partnerships with other local organisations and service providers

• Mentoring of congregations and individuals

• Helping with strategic and wider thinking i.e. fitting in with what the City is doing 

• Sharing of best practice

• Encouraging stronger ecumenical relationships