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"I believe that there is a significant and positive role for faith communities to play in the support of mental health."
"I pledge to support faith groups in my community to become Friendly Places which welcome and support those struggling with their mental health."Find Out More!
Blog: You won't mistake this for ESOL
By Anthony McKernan
You know that thing about you remember 20% of stuff you are hear, 30% of what you see and 80% of what you do?
Blog: Private Fostering
By June White, Private Fostering, Hertfordshire County Council (Guest Author)
June White is Senior Practitioner for Private Fostering, part of the Family and Friends Fostering Team of Hertfordshire County Council. In this guest blog for us, she helps explain what a private fostering arrangement is, and how important it is for local authorities to be made aware when these arrangements are made. How many children do you know who are living apart from their parents? Did you know that this could be a private fostering arrangement? Private fostering is when any child or young person under the age of 16 (or 18 if they have a disability) who has been living away from their parents for more than 28 days, with someone who is not an immediate relative or who has legal parental responsibility. There may be many reasons why children might be living in these private arrangements which could include: Breakdown in family relationships Gone to live with family friend or boyfriend or girlfriend Illness, physical, mental, drug/alcohol issues Parents working or studying abroad Death of a parent Children sent to the UK for education purposes, where parents remain overseas Exchange Language students living with host families Many parents make these private arrangements for their children to be cared…
FaithAction and Local Government Association: New Report on Faith and Health
FaithAction is delighted to jointly present the Local Government Association (LGA)’s new report, Working with faith groups to promote health and wellbeing. The report begins on the basis that: “At this time of severely constrained finance for local government and the NHS it is essential that we do all we can to harness the skills and assets in our local communities to improve health and wellbeing. “Faith groups make an important contribution to this work through their commitment to service, both with their own members and with wider communities. In particular, faith groups are often able to utilise the enthusiasm of their members as volunteers. Also, some faith groups have members who face health inequalities through a higher risk of some diseases or through difficulties in accessing healthcare. These groups are, therefore, well placed to have an active role in tackling health problems in the communities they serve.” We were pleased to have the opportunity to advise the LGA on this report and to put the authors in touch with several of our members whose hard work demonstrates the best that the faith sector can do. The report also showcases how the Faith Covenant can work in practice. [buttons] [button…
Blog: Faith, Hope and Love in Prison
By Jane Gould, Clean Sheet (Guest Author)
This past few weeks has seen media attention swing back to life in our prisons [Panorama Undercover]. Faith groups have always been involved in the care of prisoners and ex-offenders, so we asked Jane Gould for a blog. Jane is the Founder of Clean Sheet, a Christian charity that helps prisoners move from prison to employment. What can a faith-based charity do in our prisons? How does anyone help broken people begin the painful process of piecing together their shattered lives? Lives that began for 40% of them with exclusion from school. Lives that for 60% of them were spent in care. Lives that for up to 75% of them were blighted by alcohol, drugs and parental addiction. Lives where poverty and violence were a daily experience. Lives with your Dad in prison. And finally, life in prison today - with a criminal record and little real chance of change. Faith-based organisations like Clean Sheet work with prisoners simply because we want to. We’re not paid to turn up. We’re not target-driven. Each person is an individual to us and they know the difference. We believe there is hope for each prisoner attending our Ways to Work employability sessions. Our…
Blog: Why your project isn’t working
By Anthony McKernan
Community projects are great. They galvanise volunteers, they engage new residents and beneficiaries and sometimes they even attract funding! And that’s not all. They are locally rooted, they address practical needs and they are a good use of local community centres and places of worship. But projects can still miss the bigger goal - and often do. The bigger goal is to foster belonging. Why? Because when people feel like they belong, they are more confident, more social, more giving, more healthy. Belonging is foundational to a health life and healthy community [Hagerty et al, 1999]. Those who feel worthy and belong become net-contributors to society. Without a sense of belonging, isolation spreads, dependency persists, fears take hold and health suffers. Giving people a free lunch or a bed for the night are important gestures of love and kindness. More should do it. But lets not leave it at that. I'm excited when I see the wrap-around elements in place that foster belonging. This is the key point. Are your volunteers seeing beyond the project to the life of the individuals concerned? Are they introducing them to other people and places of connection? Are they creating opportunities for the individual…