No strings help provided by Influence Church volunteers in Richmond

The streets of Richmond were awash with blue t-shirts on Saturday as volunteers from Influence Church served the town in a day of community action called No Strings.

This is the 11th year that the Church has held the event and organisers say that each year the size of the teams has grown, as has the size of the positive impact they’ve made in the community.

This years event saw hundreds of volunteers undertaking a variety of projects across the Richmond area, all with the aim of serving the community with no strings attached.

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Influence Church, which also has congregations in Barnard Castle & Penrith, simultaneously ran projects in all three towns.

Over the day, projects included rebuilding and painting school fences, gardening for elderly residents, graffiti cleaning, litter picking, weeding public footpaths  and much more.

The church co-ordinated their efforts with local authorities to ensure they could be effective in meeting the needs of the towns.

They also received generous donations from JT Atkinsons builders merchant which provided equipment for across all three towns.  

In total, around 200 volunteers were involved in 25 projects of different sizes, across the region.  

In addition to these community projects, as part of No Strings, the church also gave away hundreds of free gifts to members of the public.

More than 500 gifts of flowers, sweets and bubbles were given away in Richmond town centre on Saturday afternoon. 

Ben Dowding, senior pastor of Influence Church, said: “We’ve been running these events for 11 years in Richmond and it’s fantastic to see so many people willing to give up their time to come and serve our town. 

“We believe in building a church that’s part of the community. A church that’s relevant, enthusiastic & generous. We’re passionate about our faith not just being something we talk about, but something we put into action.

“No Strings is just an expression of that, in the communities that we love being part of.”

Across the 3 locations, Influence Church collected, picked & swept up over 330 bags of rubbish, litter & waste.

Influence Church has weekly Sunday services in Richmond at 11am and also has weekly children’s, youth and community events.

For more information on No Strings or Influence Church visit www.influencechurch.co.uk or find them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.