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

17/04/13 – Latest News from the FaithAction Team

We are delighted to announce that FaithAction has been confirmed as a Strategic Partner of the Department of Health for the fifth year. Now with 21 voluntary sector organisations, the Voluntary Sector Strategic Partner programme provides a way for policy makers from NHS England, the Department of Health, and Public Health England to reach hundreds of thousands of voluntary sector organisations. 

Daniel Singleton, National Executive Director of FaithAction, said, 'I am pleased to share this good news with our members and further contacts. With FaithAction being one of the original partners, it’s great to be a part of such a successful and innovative programme as it continues. FaithAction will continue to work to highlight the role that faith-based organisations play in the hardest to engage communities and help equip these organisations to improve the health and sense of well-being for individuals.'

Read the full press release


In other news, we are also excited to have sent our new book, ‘Faith With its Sleeves Rolled Up’, to press. The publication has emerged out of our work with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Faith and Society, and takes a look at the practical contribution of faith-based organisations to UK society. Through the eyes of a variety of contributors working within politics, academia and faith-based social action, Faith With its Sleeves Rolled Up provides an answer for anyone who believes the voice of faith is inaudible or irrelevant.

Following the book’s publication and launch it will be available to purchase online, so stay tuned!#



UNICEF Report on Child Well-being Shows Worrying Results

A report by UNICEF examining the wellbeing of children in rich countries has placed the UK in 16th position out of the 29 countries included. Perhaps most worryingly, the report shows that, of the 29 countries in the study, the UK has the lowest rate of young people continuing to further education at 74%, when every other country is over 80%. Other problems highlighted include one of the highest teen pregnancy rates, as well as one of the highest rates of child alcohol abuse. The report does show some positives however: the UK has one of the lowest rates of child deprivation, as well as for child smoking. The full report can be found at UNICEF.


DWP to Review Plans for Supported Housing Benefits

In response to fears that the majority of homelessness hostels would be forced to close due to changes in housing benefit for supported and specialist housing, the DWP has announced it would review the planned changes. While the DWP had previously stated that the additional housing costs for supported housing would be exempted from the new welfares reforms such as the benefit cap, homelessness providers were concerned that hostels would not be classed as such. Writing to charity Homeless Link, Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform, stated that he would ‘protect providers from any unintended consequences’. More information, including the full letter, can be found at Homeless Link.


NHS Project to Support Homeless Females Across London

The Joint Homelessness Team in Westminster, part of the Central and North West London NHS Trust will be working with Sub Regional Housing Partnerships across London in a one-year pilot scheme to provide better mental health care for vulnerable female rough sleepers in the capital. A specialist mental health outreach worker will be working with long-term homeless women – a group that have been traditionally hard to reach – while helping to build a profile of the homeless in the area that councils can use to improve their services. More information on the scheme can be found at the Central and North London NHS Trust.


Family Nurse Scheme to Be Expanded

Dr Dan Poulter, Minister for Health, announced that the Family Nurse Partnership programme will be expanded by 5,000 places by 2015. The programme provides regular home visits from specially trained nurses to first-time parents under the age of 20, from early pregnancy until the child’s 2nd birthday, providing support and guidance to ensure that the child has a healthy life. Currently, around 11,000 families receive family nurse support, with the announced expansion to bring the number up to 16,000 in 2015. More information on the programme can be found at GOV.UK.



Evolve 2013: The Annual Event for the Voluntary Sector

Monday 17th June; The Brewery, London

Organised by NCVO and Volunteering England, with the contributions from ACEVO, CFG, IOF and NAVCA, this conference is the largest of its kind, and aims to provide something for all aspects of the voluntary sector. It will feature important debates, renowned speakers, and numerous expert workshops, alongside an extensive marketplace for networking, and a full range of expert-delivered fringe events.

For more information, and to book, please see NCVO.


Maximising Social Value

Through May; Birmingham, London, Newcastle, Manchester, Bristol, Leeds

NAVCA and LGA are running a series of free learning events throughout May for the voluntary sector regarding social value and the new Social Value Act. Attendees will learn about the Social Value Act, debate its possibilities and examine its legal aspects.

For more information, and to book, please see NAVCA.



Ahead of a formal Government consultation, Social Enterprise UK are seeking ideas and recommendations regarding the tax relief for social enterprise that was announced as part of the Budget. More information is available at SEUK.



Following on from last week, Regional Voices has released a briefing on the Health and Social Care Act, summarising the changes and how it will affect the voluntary and community sector.


Social entrepreneur Robert Ashton writes for Civil Society about the Localism Act and the role of the younger generations as new decision-makers.


Housing consultant Colin Wiles writes for Inside Housing about the welfare reforms and the need for a critical eye on welfare spending.


Consultant Sandy Adirondack has written two in-depth pieces on Charitable Incorporated Organisations, a new legal form available to charities. The first piece includes an explanation of CIOs, and the second involves deciding whether to become one.