If you've read our annual report or have received updates from us, you will know that in November 2022, we were invited to apply for one-off funding from The Weald Trust, who had decided to wind up the trust and distribute its assets. Their trustees shared in our vision and awarded Step an extraordinary grant of £200,000, which we have allocated over a three and a half year period. This is enabling us to accelerate the implementation of our 3-5 year plan by employing the additional staff members mentioned above and growing our ministries.
However, as amazing a gift as it was, which has allowed us to grow in these tricky times, the challenge starts now, as we need to ensure we can maintain this level of capacity and possibly grow again in the future once this funding has been spent. Given the economic climate, individual and church giving went down during 2022/23 so we need to work hard to grow these streams as well as looking for additional grants, especially given our expenditure is increasing due to general costs, inflation-based salary rises and a larger team. Our aim is to increase our individual giving by roughly £10,000 every year for the next five years, starting now, so that we can sustain the level we shall be in January. Therefore, if you are in a position to help us, please consider donating to our much needed work in St Albans and Harpenden.