Become a FaithAction Member now!
Get the latest news and invites to upcoming events straight to your inbox.Sign up
"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: Improving lives
By Deborah Jamieson OBE (Guest Author)
I’m Deborah Jamieson and in my role as the Head of External Relations in the government’s Work and Health Unit, I want to tell you about a consultation that opened on 31 October 2016 called Improving Lives: the Work, Health and Disability Green Paper. I need your help to ensure that this consultation can deliver real change. A consultation on work, health and disability was a priority for us as the facts are stark: 48% of disabled people are in work compared to 80% of non-disabled only 8% of employers report that they have recruited a person with a disability or long term health condition in the past year ill health among working age people costs the economy £100 billion a year and sickness absence costs employers £3 billion a year Evidence shows that appropriate work is good for health and so we have a clear vision on what we want for the future; a society where everyone is recognised for their skills and talent, regardless of disability or long term health conditions, so they can reap the rewards of work. We want people to have the right support, whether in or out of work, to help them keep and…
FUNDING: Postcode Community Trust Grants
The Trust’s 2017 programme will focus on projects that benefit communities through grass-roots sports, arts and recreation programmes and healthy living initiatives that improve a community’s physical and mental health. Applicants can apply for funding between £500 - £20,000 (£10,000 in Wales). Only registered charities may apply for over £2,000. Expressions of interest are invited during 23 January – 10 February Read more: http://www.postcodecommunitytrust.org.uk/applying-for-a-grant
Immigration and Integration: The Importance of English
Today, the APPG on Social Integration is launching its first report into how the immigration system could more effectively promote integration. The cross-party groups of MPs and peers calls for: The Government to look at introducing a regionally-led immigration system with region-specific visas based on the Canadian model; Immigrants to be required to learn English before coming to live in the UK, or be enrolled in compulsory classes when they arrive; A new national Government strategy for the integration of immigrants that includes issues such as access to the labour market, awareness of the UK’s laws, traditions and culture; Councils to set up local integration action plans, a new Controlling Migration Fund and the immediate introduction of an Integration Impact Fund; Ministers to recognise that integration is a two-way street requiring action on the part of newcomers and host communities. One of the main recommendations regarding the use of English is important and something that FaithAction has a lot to say about. Creative English, FaithAction’s programme which looks to teach individuals through the use of drama, has been running nationally in different locations since late 2013. Since that time, we have seen over 2,600 individuals engage with the programme that…
Blog: Integration: We Think We Might Have Found The Answer!
By Daniel Singleton
What makes a Briton and a ‘British value’ is the thorniest of issues, but whether we agree with current government policy or not, we can agree that speaking English is a key entry point for anyone who is to integrate within the United Kingdom today. That’s why, amid the cries back and forth over the Casey review, we must not miss some of the key things we have already learned about how to build a stronger society. Sir Eric Pickles, when he was Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), put it most succinctly: “If you can’t speak English you can’t join in!” This has been a principle many of us have faced when on a foreign holiday and the conversation around turns away from English - and you realise you are no longer a full part of the scene. However, language is not the full story: you can lay on English classes in fine establishments, but not connect with the people who need them most. You can teach the best technical language possible and find that none of your students speaks English outside the class. A proper English language strategy needs to include ‘reach’…
Blog: Be who you are—don’t just fit in!
By Anne Smith
All human beings need a sense of belonging. It is integral to our well-being. A lack of belonging underpins the divisions in UK society that the Casey Review has identified. Segregation, deprivation and social exclusion are both the source and the consequence of failing to feel that we belong. Integration is a two stage process. Migrants and refugees settling in the UK must have an understanding of services and systems, and the language to engage with them, to achieve functional integration into society. This access is important in addressing inequalities. However, is this enough? To belong, you have to have an emotional connection. ‘Fitting in’ to external patterns of behaviour is often taken as an indicator of belonging but can actually increase the sense of alienation an individual feels. If you can do the activity but still feel isolated, or if you can do it but feel like you have to compromise your identity in a way you don’t feel comfortable with, it won’t make you feel like you belong. There is a need for functional integration, where someone is able to access services and opportunities, as they wish, but equally important is the deeper emotional connection where you feel…