Who are we?
We are a national network of faith-based and community organisations who serve their communities through the delivery of public services, such as childcare, health and social care, housing and welfare to work.
What do we do?
We empower faith-based and community organisations, by:
- providing support, guidance and training, enabling them to carry out their own mission to the best of their ability;
- conducting research, highlighting the work of the faith-based and community organisations, and encouraging statutory bodies to work in partnership with them;
- disseminating key information, ensuring they have access to all the information, research, best practice, and funding opportunities they need;
- being their voice to Government, ensuring that the contributions and needs of faith-based and community organisations are properly considered when policy is made.
What have we achieved?
In 2009, we were chosen to be one of the founding partners of the Health and Care Voluntary Sector Strategic Partner Programme, now the VCSE Health and Wellbeing Alliance. As an Alliance partner, we work with the Department of Health, NHS England, and Public Health England as the voice of faith in public health. With the support of this programme, we’ve produced a series of reports and collections of case studies highlighting the varied contributions of faith-based and community organisations to different areas of public health.
In 2012, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Faith and Society was launched, with FaithAction serving as its secretariat. This cross-party group of Parliamentarians—chaired by the Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP—shares our mission of highlighting the contribution of faith-based organisations, and together we have drafted the Faith Covenant, a set of principles to enable local authorities and faith groups to work together in providing for their community. To date, 12 local authorities have adopted the Covenant, including Birmingham City Council, Europe’s largest local authority.
In 2013, we were one of six winners of a £6million competition run by the Department of Communities and Local Government—now the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government—which had the aim of providing accessible, community-led English language teaching and promoting social cohesion. Thanks to this funding, we launched our Creative English programme—developed by our own Dr. Anne Smith in partnership with Queen Mary University of London—which now runs in over 50 hubs across the country. Creative English has so far helped over 6,500 people so far learn conversational English through fun and engaging soap-opera style scenarios.
And we’ve worked with the Department of Communities and Local Government previously, launching the successful Together in Service two-year initiative in 2013, which supported the development of new multi-faith social action projects through small grants. In those two years, we gave out £160,000 to 57 social action projects around the country, allowing groups of people from various faiths to come together to showcase their music, art and dance, to work to renovate local green spaces for their community, and much much more.
What are people saying?
Being part of FaithAction is a fantastic link into the faith community across the country. It makes us part of something bigger and really unique. Our membership has given us opportunities to meet with leaders in the Department of Health, to be involved in All-Party Parliamentary Groups and to have links into government that we would otherwise not have. Most of all, they are always on hand if I need someone to talk to, offload to, or share successes with.
In the north east, as well as other locations, faith organisations have a huge contribution in response to public health. FaithAction’s research and practice focus is playing a key part in informing and initiating new responses in public health issues and concerns—this is appreciated by the faith groups based here, as well as those interested in faith and action.