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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!
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…
The FaithAction team has been saddened to learn that our good friend, Sonia Douek, has passed away. Sonia was a great champion of volunteering, notably through her role for many years as Head of Volunteering and Community Development at Jewish Care. She had a great passion to see the wider community recognise the difference that faith makes in health – a passion that shaped some of FaithAction’s early work, and she was a wonderful help to us in building links with the Jewish community. She also authored a chapter of our book, Faith With its Sleeves Rolled Up. Sonia had a great impact our staff members: she was always warm and welcoming – the kind of person you would never hesitate to call for a word of advice. We will miss her very much.
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…