Three new reports on partnership working between faith and local government.

What has happened to TV recently? There’s actually some good stuff!

Over the past couple of weeks my wife has quite often been out of an evening; I have been putting the kids to bed and (in theory) reading them a bedtime story. The other night I suddenly realised my seven-year-old son was jumping up and down in front of me waving a book with a look of exasperation on his face. At this point, I realised that I had been sucked into a TV programme and was not performing my role as duty story teller! He expressed to me that this was not an uncommon problem.

Why was I so distracted? I was watching Phil’s Empty Homes Giveaway, part of Channel 4’s The Great British Property Scandal season.This was followed the next night with Kevin’s Grand Design. This combined withThe Military Wives Choir and The Big Bread Experiment (which is looking at how community can be built through baking together,) provided a rich diet of programmes looking at how to build community, and the role ordinary people can play in this.

I found it interesting that there are so many programmes examining how we interact with each other and how we can affect the lives of those we live amongst. Although no-one is saying this, it seems to me that it is all related to Big Society. Our current economic situation has provided a setting in which to review our relationships and the way in which we interact with those we live and work alongside.

With FaithAction’s role as one of the Department of Health’s strategic partners, we have been learning a lot about different health and social care issues. Again and again we hear from other strategic partners, officials and FaithAction members that so many problems which are presented as medical issues can be solved or prevented by people being connected to a community, acting as a surrogate family or friendship-group.

The projects on these TV shows have a number of key ingredients. They all:

  • Bring people together,
  • Provide a value to people by helping them understand what they can do or who they are,
  • Give a helping hand, not a hand out.

FaithAction is currently holding a series of Community in Focusevents where we are celebrating the work of members with their local MPs. It seems that these common themes of providing people with a sense of dignity and valuing them as individuals whilst also setting them in some sort of positive community is key to the health of the nation. These values are pretty much standard to faith based organisations.

Well I’m off to see what’s on TV tonight!

About Daniel Singleton

National Executive Director

Daniel Singleton has been the National Executive Director of FaithAction since 2007. This role has seen Daniel forge close working relationships across a number of national government departments, as well as local statutory and voluntary-sector bodies. As part of FaithAction’s mission to connect national and local government with grassroots organisations, Daniel also meets regularly with FaithAction member groups to help them develop in their social action.