Seven ways that faith is impacting communities

After an unforgettable year with FaithAction, I have decided to move on to other ventures. Who would have thought my five-day temporary job would turn into a permanent one in such a short space of time?

My favourite part of this role was definitely managing our National Executive Director’s diary. I enjoyed liaising with different contacts to sort meeting dates, as well as being the “glue that held it all together”. I also really enjoyed all the events – I love networking with people and lending a helping hand. I am grateful for the many transferable skills I have developed here, as they can now be utilised in future roles.

As I leave FaithAction, they are currently involved in a whole range of different endeavors:

1) Conferences

FaithAction will have a presence at the NHS Expo this week and the Public Health England Conference 2018 next week, representing the VCSE Health and Wellbeing Alliance.

We will also have a stand at the British Muslims and Health Inequalities Conference in Bradford on 12 September.

We will be involved in a number of different projects as part of the Alliance; for example, improving mental health for BME communities, and helping people into work who have been unemployed for a long time.

2) The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Faith and Society’s Annual General Meeting

The AGM will take a look at the work of the APPG this year and next year. There will be a particular emphasis around the Faith Covenant, along with a proposal to look closer at social isolation, loneliness and integration.

3) Impacting local health services

Working with our host organisation, LifeLine Projects, to deliver Healthwatch in Barking and Dagenham. The team are working with patients and GPs to improve access to appointments; researching what’s being done for young people who have poor mental health and are socially isolated and offering recommendations for improvement to dementia services in the borough.

If you live in Barking and Dagenham, we’re currently running a survey on access to GP services; please share your views with us! We’re working with the local clinical commissioning group to find solutions for local residents.

4) The NHS Long Term Plan

The NHS is currently developing a Long Term Plan, and wants to hear the views and experiences of everyone who uses the NHS or works alongside or in it. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be gathering our members’ insights so that you can help shape the plan; if you’d like to contribute, see our page on the Long Term Plan.

5) Creative English and its Hubs around the country

22 organisations will begin to deliver a new term of Creative English sessions from this month. Add to that all the organisations already delivering classes, and we expect these Hubs will see over 2,500 learners laugh their way to confident English!

6) Connecting Communities

This new programme will support some of the most vulnerable residents of Barking and Dagenham to learn English in a supportive, fun, family-based setting. Classes will be based around five key themes to help residents gain confidence and be able to communicate with their landlords.

7) Tower Hamlets Inter Faith Forum and its Inter Faith Week Event

In celebration of Inter Faith Week 2018, the Forum will be hosting an event with individuals to discuss how local residents and different faith groups can make Tower Hamlets a better place to live and work. The keynote speaker is Dr Chris Hewer, who holds degrees in Christian and Islamic theology.

If you’d like to attend, reserve your place on the event page.

My final words to all at FaithAction – staff and members

To each and every one (both past and present), thank you for everything. You have all made a contribution in making my journey a very memorable one.  I have learnt to bloom where I am planted – it’s onwards and upwards from here.