The Party Conference Journal Pt. 2 – #Lab15

We have had many MPs and councillors come by the FaithAction stand and sign the Friendly Places Pledge. When they hear what we are promoting, they often respond with “How can I  refuse?”. We certainly believe that the community and place of belonging that faith groups can provide is a key tool for reaching those who are adversely affected by isolation.

It is something which is happening a lot of the time in most faith communities. However, the wider issue of mental health seems stuck; after somewhat of a cross-bench agreement, Labour’s shadow Minister for Mental Health Luciana Berger MP called for the government to turn rhetoric into reality with equal funding for mental and physical health.

The sentiment in Jeremy Corbyn’s speech went down broadly well where we were sitting. The truth of his speech is found maybe in what he pointed to but didn’t expand on. He made it clear that there are good ideas outside of his own shadow cabinet. I would go further and say there are some great solutions in the midst of faith and community groups far away from the tribalism of politics.

If there is a fault of the FaithAction team, it is our default position being to act. We like solutions; we want to do something. In many ways, this is also true of those of faith who are part of our network; we are not always good at saying what we think or pointing at what we do. We just tend to get on and do it.

However, it is clear from our discussions in Brighton: If faith organisation’s solutions are to have greater reach, we need to keep explaining what we are doing on the ground and what the impact is, and illustrating that…

Faith is what goes on underneath

More in the series

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.