On Pentecost Sunday afternoon 2016 and 2017, as part of Tent on the Green’s ‘Sunday on the Green’ celebration, an offering was taken for Winchester City Council to honour and bless their work. £2000 and £2500 respectively was donated by those attending which led to the City developing a new type of grant award for volunteer groups.

The ‘WINnovation’ awards evening takes place twice a year where eligible groups give a short presentation to a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style panel and other volunteer groups taking part. At the end of the evening, successful groups are awarded grants of up to £4000, with the emphasis on community, innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial delivery.

The level of excitement, community and sheer joy of these evenings has led a number of community leaders involved in Tent on the Green, Burn 24-7 and a host of other initiatives to investigate the formation of a charity which extends the principles of blessing and enhancing the communities of the Winchester District all year round.

The King’s City Fund (“King’s City” is a term taken from the recent rebranding of Winchester’s bus services) aims to encourage as many of Winchester district’s 118,000 residents to donate £10 or more a year to a fund which will enhance the lives of its residents and create more of a social conscience towards those in need. Its aims are to:

  • significantly increase the level of donation to Winchester City Council for its WINnovation volunteer grant awards programme
  • give as a city to local, national and international emergencies as appropriate
  • repair, refurbish or build new public facilities in the district which fall outside statutory service provision
  • support community building events, programmes and facilities

The Fund will be overseen by a Board of Trustees and will be subject to the rules, directives and governance of UK charity law.

The next WINnovation Awards Evening is being held at Marwell Hotel on November 2nd. Further details are available on Winchester City Council’s website:

http://www.winchester.gov.uk/community/winnovation/

The King’s City Fund is a perfect expression for the Kingdom of God and the Churches of Winchester to bless the wider community they serve without ulterior motive, and will express the love of God in a very practical and real way. Once established, it will provide a model which other UK cities may be inspired to adopt and adapt to their own needs and expertise.