Cambridgeshire churches get cash clawed back from criminals to start community projects - including a health group in Chatteris

Chatteris Parish Church that is to get £2,000 from Proceeds of Crime funding to support a local heal

Chatteris Parish Church that is to get £2,000 from Proceeds of Crime funding to support a local health group. Picture' ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Cash recovered from criminals will help fund a project run by Chatteris Parish Church to improve the area’s health and in particular those with drug or alcohol issues.

The church is one of a number across that Cambridgeshire that have been awarded £2,000 each thanks to Proceeds of Crime Act funding and a scheme by Cinnamon Network - a registered charity.

The partnership between the force and the charity allows the churches to start projects addressing community issues.

In the coming months Chatteris Parish Church will run the Intentional Health project to improve the health of individuals and communities.

Volunteers are trained to provide a 10-session programme that helps people address factors impacting their health, together with destructive behaviours such as alcohol and drug abuse.

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The project develops relationships with GP surgeries, family centres, council services and the police, who refer and promote the project.

Inspector Paul Rogerson said: "Proceeds of Crime Act hearings demonstrate that crime doesn't pay and furthermore, schemes like this highlight what that money then goes towards.

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"The projects soon to be carried out by these churches across Cambridgeshire support a number of force priorities - from Serious Street Based Violence to child exploitation and Domestic Abuse.

"We are delighted to be working in partnership with local churches and Cinnamon Network to support vulnerable people within the community and address some of the root causes of crime."

Mike Royal, Co-CEO of Cinnamon Network, said: "We are living in a time of great social need and many families and individuals require help and support to avoid crisis and poverty.

"This partnership seeks to build on the immense contribution that faith groups make to civic society. By providing churches with a combination of expert advice and practical support to start projects, we hope to make a lasting difference in the lives of the most marginalised and vulnerable.

"The prospect of churches, the police and other community stakeholders working together is tremendously exciting, and I look forward to seeing the impact this partnership will have in Cambridgeshire."

As of January 2020, four Cambridge churches will run the Kids Matter project which supports disadvantaged or troubled families through a parenting programme.

And as of August 1, the Open Door Church in Peterborough will run the Hope into Action project providing housing and community for vulnerable rough sleepers.

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