Cranhill Development Trust
Cranhill Development Trust is a community anchor based in a large church building in the centre of Cranhill, a housing scheme to the east of the city centre. Originally a response by the Church of Scotland to the needs of a growing population of refugees and people with experience of the asylum system, it now provides support to a wide breadth of the local community.
Cranhill Development Trust began life in 1997 when the Church of Scotland employed a community worker to make better use of the large two storey parish Church. Originally employed with the intention of working with young people, the worker arrived in post at the same time as the first group of refugees and people seeking asylum were housed in flats adjacent to the church. This immediately became the focus of her work instead. English classes and social activities were organised with the aim of helping the new arrivals to integrate into the community. From there the project grew, taking on a wider role within the local area.
Cranhill Community Project became an independent charity in 2002, changing its name to Cranhill Development Trust in 2011. It aims to work with the entire community from infants and their parent through to older adults, refugees, people seeking asylum, migrant workers, people with experience of the criminal justice system and people with a history of misusing drugs and alcohol.
The two-storey church has a large hall upstairs which was used for worship on a Sunday, the ground floor houses a café, a learning centre, a shop and a number of offices. Its large grounds currently contain 76 raised beds which are used by families, individuals and groups to grow fruit and vegetables. Cranhill Development Trust was awarded £30,000 towards its day to day running costs.
Justice Prince was established in 2007 by two sisters who came together to achieve their dream of setting up a local organisation to tackle social injustice. Justice Prince worked with the community in Longbenton to support them to develop an area plan led by a steering group whose members live on the estate. One of the first priorities was the need to tackle the high levels of youth unemployment. Another priority focused on food. The estate has a row of shops which are mostly takeaways and convenience stores. In response it took over 18 derelict allotments turning them into a community garden. The garden is the focus for a wide range of voluntary activity and is also used by the local primary schools as part of the regular curriculum. Justice Prince also took over the management of the kitchens in the Oxford Centre, in which it is based, where it runs the café and hosts regular community meals for older residents. During the first COVID lockdown the garden became a lifeline for several isolated individuals and Justice Prince began delivering hot meals to vulnerable people on the estate. Justice Prince estimates that it delivered over 1,500 hot meals over the year. In addition, it worked with Fair Share to supplement the local foodbank with additional food parcels.
Justice Prince was awarded £30,000 to employ a catering manager to develop the community café.
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