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

07/02/13 – A Word of Thanks From the Director of Public Health

This week FaithAction’s Daniel Singleton and Hannah Walker met with Duncan Selbie, the head of Public Health England, a new body set up by government to improve the nation’s health. Duncan caught our attention a little while ago when he was first appointed and made a speech stating that health was largely determined by 3 things; paraphrased:

1) Do you have a worthwhile occupation?
2) Do you have a home that is safe and secure?
3) And do you have friends/ community?

Duncan stated his reasons for meeting with us were purely selfish; for him to make any dent on the issue of the public’s health, he needed to support the activity and community represented by faith. He recognised the truth in our statement of ‘faith reaches the parts no one else can’, and reiterated the preoccupation with hospitals as the source of health has meant that, in society, we have undervalued the ‘non-health’ aspects that are a key contributor to good health, many of which are resident in the activities of churches and faith communities across England.

We talked about the need to quantify, evaluate and share good practice about that which faith does to improve health and well- being and he has pledged Public Health England’s assistance to this end.

“It was a genuine pleasure to meet you, Daniel and Hannah.  I acknowledge and have absolute confidence in the contribution FaithAction makes to the health and well-being of people and, crucially, the most vulnerable.  Public Health England will do all it can to recognise this publicly and to offer whatever practical assistance we can.  Please call on me whenever this possibility arises.  Meantime, please receive and convey my warm thanks to your members for everything they are doing.” –Duncan Selbie


Do you work in – or aspire to work in – community-based English language provision?

Following on from last week, we’d like to highlight the potential partnership opportunityavailable to members who are involved in, or would like to be involved in, community-based English language provision. The DCLG has put forward a £6 million funding opportunity and we are looking to put together a partnership to apply for this.

For more information, click here. We will have more information on this fund next week, so keep checking our website and weekly e-news!

Meanwhile, please email FaithAction to register your interest at: [email protected].


We've also got another round-up of recent funding opportunities now available on our website.




New funding and schemes to promote new housing

Housing Minister Mark Prisk announced allocation of funding pay-outs worth £668 million through the New Homes Bonus. The money will be shared by England’s 353 councils, and used to create 142,000 new homes and make 18,000 empty properties usable again. More info at gov.uk

Chief Secretary Danny Alexander and Housing Minister Mark Prisk also announced 2 schemes to help investors expand the private rented sector, and to build new affordable homes. Housing providers building new private rented housing or affordable housing will have their lending protected by government guarantee, to help them reduce their borrowing costs. More info at gov.uk


Stewardship publishes guides to Gift Aid changes

Stewardship have published a series of PDF guides about the changes to the Gift Aid donation scheme that come into force in 2013. This includes Gift Aid changes for this year, the upcoming Charities Online service, and a technical paper and practical guide to the Small Donations Scheme.


Mid Staffordshire Public Inquiry Report published

On 6th February, the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry published its final report. Examining the bodies that monitor the Mid Staffordshire Hospital, the report found failures of care at every level of the trust. It also makes 290 recommendations to improve the standard of care. The full report is available, while NHS Choices has a summary of the findings. Responses to the report have been made by the Health Secretary and the Prime Minister.


Funding to build partnerships between commissioners and VCSE sector

The NHS Commissioning Board announced an investment of £50,000 each to twelve areas to support the Building Health Partnerships Programme. Clinical commissioning groups, local authorities and voluntary, community and social enterprise groups will work to identify gaps in healthcare and how VCSE groups can help fill them. More info at nhs.uk




A Wider Look at Commissioning: Commissioning for Equality

FaithAction and the National Children’s Bureau are working together to host a series of workshops designed for the voluntary sector and commissioners of services. These sessions aim to provide valuable local networking, information, tools, and topics for better local commissioning.

Upcoming workshops include:
East of England – Cambridge – 26th February
South East – Guildford – 12th March

South West – Bristol – 21st March


Universal Credit: A Faith-Based and Voluntary Sector Response

Wednesday February 27th; Crossover Resource and Learning Centre,Birmingham

This free event, run by FaithAction in partnership with St. Paul’s Crossover, will examine the imminent shakeup of the welfare benefits system by the Welfare Reform Act 2012 and the launch of Universal Credit as a replacement of multiple forms of benefit.

  • Explain Universal Credit and the timetable for changes in Birmingham.
  • Look at the implications and who is likely to be most vulnerable.
  • Explore how faith-based and voluntary sector organisations can provide the necessary support and guidance for their communities and service users.
  • Provide workshops to look at the potential of your own organisation to respond.
  • Provide a toolkit signposting your organisation to resources and available support.

More detailed information will be available soon. To register your interest, please email Hannah Walker at: [email protected].


London Voluntary Service Council Events

How the London Assembly’s Health & Environment Committee Works
An event in London on 6th March to discuss how to influence and lobby on London’s health and environmental issues. More info


Lay Leadership in Healthwatch & Health & Social Care Event
An event in London on 20th March for anyone newly interested in getting involved in Healthwatch and/or health and social care. More info


Building Good Practice: Influencing Health & Social Care
A workshop event in London on 20th March to share information, develop practice, and debate issues regarding Healthwatch and Health & Wellbeing Boards. More info


LVSC/Happy Training Programme

An affordable soft skills training programme, run in association with Happy, for the voluntary and community sector of London. A new programme starts in March. More info




The Joint Select Committee on the Draft Care and Support Bill is seeking consultation from carers on the draft Bill, including past experiences and views on the proposed legislation.


Clinks are asking for voluntary and community sector organisations that work with offenders, ex-offenders, their families, or victims of crime, to complete their State of the Sector survey, which will help shape their future work. More info




The NHS Commissioning Board are trialling a directory of online tools and mobile apps which aims to provide a “trusted listing of […] tools for people and care professionals that help improve health and care outcomes.”. The full site will launch in March.


The Dying Matters Coalition is leading a new partnership project, which aims to provide people in their last years with a way to find local support services, information, and supportive communities. They’re also looking for more organisations to be listed.


As part of suite of resources regarding health and wellbeing, Regional Voices have published a policy briefing on health and wellbeing boards, JSNAs and health and wellbeing strategies entitled “Influencing Local Commissioning for Health and Care – Guidance for the Voluntary and Community Sector.” More info


Disability Rights UK have been involved in the Equality Advisory and Support Service that launched in October last year. The service is for individuals who believe they may have been discriminated against, and will help clients with resolving their issues. More info


LVSC is to be the new host of the London Community Voices for Health Network, originally set up by the Greater London Authority. The network will provide information on health and social care in the London area. To register your interest, please contact [email protected]



Featured Member

Our Featured Member this week is Ykids

Formed in 2002, Ykids provides children in Merseyside with support and guidance , and a wide range of activities. They run a large number of projects across Merseyside, giving young people an opportunity to participate in fun and enriching activities, including a cooking project, involving its own café; an arts project that deals with issues involving self-image and role models; and a mentoring scheme that provides many diverse opportunities, such as learning dances from around the world, or trying out new and different sports.

For more information on Ykids, please visit www.ykids.co.uk