Redeeming Our Communities was launched in Devon and Cornwall on 20 October 2011, celebrating the opportunities for partnership between churches, the police and other public services. It was an exciting evening with inspiring stories of community working combined with great live entertainment including a choir of homeless people, a street dance outfit, Dance Band LED, Plymkids theatre group and a set from Michael Collings, the local Britain’s Got Talent finalist.

United by a common goal
Redeeming Our Communities is a national charity which aims to be a catalyst for community transformation. It brings together community groups, churches, the police, the fire service, local authorities and voluntary agencies to encourage them to work together in positive partnerships for practical change. Redeeming Our Communities was launched in 2004 following community projects which brought together churches in Manchester; the common goal of social transformation helped to sustain unity and led to the more radical partnership with the police and other services. As the success of the work in Manchester became apparent, more regions became interested in ROC and the model spread across the nation through national and regional initiatives.

At the South West launch, ROC brought together partnering agencies from throughout Devon and Cornwall, working together to create safer, kinder communities, in a way that has not been seen in the region before. Paul Netherton, Assistant Chief Constable for Devon and Cornwall police, said, “The amazing thing about tonight is going to be the conversations we can now have about how faith groups can work together with other agencies like the police to make a positive difference in our communities.”

ROC in practice
Projects seen in other regions across the UK have included ROC cafes, multi-agency youth clubs which have seen up to a 35% reduction in crime in the areas where they are set up and brought real engagement with young people in the area through working with schools, police and other key agencies. Arts and sports projects have also been used to unite communities with an outward focus to bring change to an area. Family drop-in centres and programmes that care for the elderly are also operating in some regions. Redeeming Our Communities can support and develop existing community projects as well as initiating new projects.

There are many opportunities for churches in the south west to work together with community partners, bringing volunteers, community knowledge and expertise and resources and skills to have real and lasting impact. ROC Ambassadors work in their communities to bring about that transformation. If you’re passionate about bringing change to your community and would like to find out more about becoming a ROC Ambassador, you can read about the role and meet some of the current Ambassadors here.

Read more about Redeeming Our Communities in the south west on the ROC website.


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