InterACT for short, is about working together in our local community.
Charity (CIO) number: 1171402
The aim of InterAct is “to discover God’s purpose for the area as we seek to demonstrate His love in words and actions.” The creative arts, interpreted in the widest sense, are used in this aim.
Please visit the website at www.interact.uk.net and the
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The churches in the partnership are:
St Matthew’s, Chapel Allerton
Holy Trinity, Meanwood
SUMMARY OF INTERACT’S PROJECTS – MARCH ’22
Hilary Wilson and Vanessa Brown have written about some of the projects that InterACT are involved with locally. Each project is followed by prayers. Remember this is our work. We all have a part to play – God’s love in action shared and acknowledged.
PAST PROJECT – COVID HUB
The main workload for InterACT during 2020/21 was co-ordinating a Covid Hub, working with Leeds City Council and Voluntary Action Leeds, providing support for many people in our local area through an army of volunteers. This took the form of food shopping, delivering food parcels and medicines, befriending, etc. Maureen was also on the ground visiting and delivering food to a number of residents. Even though the Hub has been disbanded, we are still supporting the most vulnerable in our community.
We can give thanks for new relationships made during this time and also that this period significantly raised the profile of InterACT (and therefore the churches) locally and in the city. Please pray for our leaders – it’s a key time for InterACTat a time of change.
2.1 ASSET BASED COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (ABCD)
This is a community building approach which Leeds City Council (LCC) has developed into a pioneering programme in the city. Third sector organisations, funded by LCC, employ community builders who work with neighbourhoods to uncover and develop pre-existing assets, strengths and connections between people. Their aim is to help neighbourhoods to thrive by bringing people together and improving health and wellbeing. There are 3 positive outcomes – good friendships, better connections with organisations, and communities identifying and working together to bring about the change they want to see. Funding has been given for InterACT to carry out ABCD on the Beckhills for 18 months, with Maureen and Ness as community builders.
There are some key relationships to negotiate here, as well as new connections to be made. Pray for us to find where the energy is and enable residents of all ages (especially young people) to take a lead.
2.2 MEN SHED
This is based at Meanwood Valley Urban Farm (MVUF) to provide a meeting point for men in the local community to work together on simple projects and chat over a cuppa. Similar schemes have seen an improvement in mental health.
A small group of men have started to bring this to life. Please pray for Ness as she manages this work and encourages volunteers.
The Meanwood Pantry is located in the car park of Meanwood Community Centre. Members can shop at the Pantry once a week and take home goods with an RRP around five times what the member pays. Currently there are almost 80 members, which equates to around 50 shoppers per week and 240 people supported through those members. Some members volunteer in the shop on a regular basis.
The next months look set to be a challenging time for household finances. Pray for the continued sustainability of the Pantry and its growth as a place of community and mutual support.
2.4 YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
The project is inspired by Community Action to Create Hope (CATCH) in Harehills and has links with Carr Manor Community School. It is a partnership project with Thrive Leeds.
InterACT’s youth club permanently closed during the pandemic. It was a risky move, particularly given how well things were going at the time. However, we wanted to make way for a different model of youth work, and this is it! Youth work in Meanwood is currently lacking. Pray that we’re able to get this project set up well and that the young people already involved will grow as young leaders in our neighbourhoods and in the process discover something of God’s love for each one of us.
2.5 SOLUTIONS WORK
Run by Maureen. A list is being drawn up of organisations who could provide financial advice and other forms of support to individuals, which will be put on the InterACT website and distributed for churches to use. The hope is that churches will feel more confident in knowing where to access support, which in turn will also reduce the workload on Ness and Maureen.
Solutions is the more responsive end of Maureen’s work. Given the situation of the last couple of years, this has naturally dominated. Please pray for recuperation and space for her to now shift the balance back towards development and rebuilding.
We’re hoping to have a celebration event this year – to bring together volunteers and those they supported during COVID.
Pray this happens. There are still a lot of people in the mix whose face Ness has never seen, despite working with them for 18 months! It will be good to mark all that has happened, reflect and give thanks. An opportunity to build up relationships and to share why, as churches, we are part of InterACT.