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Staff from the charity Cinnamon Network

Many local churches and community groups want to make a positive impact in their communities, and respond practically to the needs they see around them. However, they don’t always know where to start. While addressing these challenges starts with passion and dedication, setting up a project, making it sustainable and even replicating it requires specialist support.

The Cinnamon Network is a charity providing churches with a range of support and resources to help them get their social action projects set up and running effectively. They work with churches right at the heart of their communities, helping fledging projects to grow and replicate.

The charity currently offers coaching, teaching and support to hundreds of churches. They also facilitate the development of partnerships and networks where there are common causes. Their Incubator project alone supports 53 projects, that have gone on to replicate in 1000 locations across the UK, supported by 24,000 volunteers. But perhaps most importantly these projects have reached out and helped 160,000 individual beneficiaries. People are at the heart of what Cinnamon Network do and safeguarding is a priority!

We spoke to Kate Sharma from Cinnamon Network about their Thirtyone:eight membership and how it’s impacted their work.

Tell us what safeguarding looked like in your organisation before you became a member with Thirtyone:eight?

Before working with Thirtyone:eight, we really didn’t have a benchmark to measure what ‘good’ looked like in terms of safeguarding. The team have helped us to understand what we need to be aiming for in our own organisation and in those that we are partnering with.

How did you hear about Thirtyone:eight?

Thirtyone:eight has really become the go-to in the Christian sector when it comes to safeguarding. We began hearing about your brilliant work from so many other organisations that it was hard to ignore!

What membership benefits or services do you use most frequently, and why?

Thirtyone:eight’s template policies really helped us set everything up so fast. Your guidelines and insight have also helped us to share what we do with our teams and the wider network we work with.

How has your membership impacted your organisation?

Here at Cinnamon, we work with hundreds of churches and Christian charities. We’re not ashamed to say that we deliver brilliant training in areas such as missional listening, volunteer training and project development. However, we know we are not experts in safeguarding. So, it’s brilliant to be able to direct those we work with to Thirtyone:eight.

When it comes to safeguarding, we can’t get complacent. We need to keep our skills sharp, to be aware of the latest legislation, to understand what good really looks like – and you make it really easy. In a sense, Thirtyone:eight is like that faithful friend who you might not speak to in ages, but you can rely on when you need them.

Do you have a favourite member's benefit?

Katy, one of Thirtyone:eight's Safeguarding Advisors, led a webinar for some of the churches we work with and was just awesome! Thirtyone:eight understand the unique context in which churches operate and that’s so important. She helped us understand how to develop a culture of safeguarding within a church setting that is empowering and liberating. People went away genuinely excited about how safeguarding could change their church and community work for the better.

What would you say to people who aren’t sure if they should become a member?

Safeguarding is everyone’s business – whether you are a front-line project worker, a volunteer in an organisation or just someone who is working in an admin team. If we want to see a world where everyone is protected and supported, we need to take this seriously. Thirtyone:eight recognise that different organisations need different levels of support and they’ll help you get what you need. Dare I say it – they even make it exciting, which helps no-end when you are encouraging others in your team to step up.

Find out more about Cinnamon Network


Our membership is open to any organisation that wants to raise the standard of safeguarding. Find out about the benefits of membership or join us today and create safer places for everyone.

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