Project snapshot

CAF Resilience Fund supporting their charitable work
Supporting communities in Northern Ireland

The cause

The Churches Trust is based in Derry, Northern Ireland and addresses deprivation and social injustice. As an interdenominational organisation, they bring together local churches and their communities in an area with a legacy of division. They support their community through youth programmes, older people’s services, and accessible maintenance, alongside running a food bank and charity shop.

The objectives

The Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated existing needs and vulnerabilities in the community and highlighted areas in which The Churches Trust could strengthen to increase its offer of much-needed services and undertake strategic planning and infrastructure development. They applied to the CAF Resilience Fund to extend their delivery work and invest in strategic development to help them thrive in the future.

The impact

Main Grant: £102,600 used for youth work and staff time to focus on an ambitious organisational development plan. It enabled The Churches Trust to employ additional staff. This, in turn, freed-up the Chief Executive to focus on development and sustainability of the organisation. Funds were also used to support the delivery of the project and to design and pilot new initiatives. For example, they worked with a script writer to write a short play about respecting faith and cultural differences. The play will be shared through schools next year and possibly further afield.

Resilience Support Grant
: £20,000 for strategic planning, Board development, HR, and management information systems, including:

  • The staff time and external support to develop the organisational strategy and operational plan over several months means that they were able address important questions about their identity and mission. They now have a clear direction that aligns with their vision and values.
  • The governance review and work with trustees has helped the organisation focus on strategic planning and think about future opportunities and the governance structures and skills needed. They are now developing a youth steering group, putting young people’s voices at the heart of their work.
  • Work on their IT, CRM systems and HR processes has improved operations. Investment in their branding, design and website has also given the organisation a more professional look and feel.

“In all my 30+ years in this sector, I’ve not known an opportunity like this. The flexibility of the grant meant we achieved so much more. Our work on good governance and strategy development gave rise to ideas about developing a youth steering group to shape our work.”

Fiona Fagan, Chief Executive of the Churches Trust

CAF Reslience Fund

The CAF Resilience Fund is a £40 million grant programme generously funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the insurance and long-term savings industry as part of the Covid-19 Support Fund. Read the full report to find out how the fund spported other charities around the U.K.
Read the full report

CAF Resilience Fund: Phase 2

Find out how phase 2 of the CAF Resilience Fund supported charitable organisations affected by Covid-19 become more resilient.

Find out more

Disability Solutions West Midlands (DSWM): supporting people with disabilites

Read how the CAF Resilience Fund helped DSWM with their work to support people with disabilities in the West Midlands

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Golden Opportunity Skills and Development (GOSAD): Supporting BAME communtities

Read how the CAF Resilience Fund helped GOSAD with their work to support youth employability in BAME communities.

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