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

23/05/13 – Daniel Singleton respons to Woolwich

Bravery on the Street of Woolwich — A Message From Daniel Singleton

Yesterday, I was closeted away writing an article on the Coalition and faith, for the new website Public Spirit, when I started to be distracted by news reports of the fatal attack on a soldier in Woolwich.

My heart sank as I realised how faith was likely to be played out in the media for the next little while. As I called into the FaithAction office and read news reports, many spoke of the palpable sense of fear, this act seemed to be truly one of terror.

But behind the headline another story started to emerge — for me, that is — of the acts of individual bravery in the face of fear and danger, those who confronted the killers or the women who tended to the dying soldier. In points of crisis, we have a choice to flee and draw into ourselves or to step up and 'have a go'. So let us not only condemn this attempt to terrorise us, but let us also draw hope from the acts of bravery on the streets of Woolwich yesterday. Let not the overzealous media who tar this attack as ‘Islamic’ steal the narrative on faith. One heinous act must not be allowed to overwhelm the selfless acts of goodness by people of faith performed without fanfare, day in day out.


Today, take the opportunity to look at the work of faith-based organisations and see their positive contributions.




…but remember: for every website you can view, there are thousands who namelessly serve the communities around them.


Faith with its sleeves rolled up is a reality in UK society. Don’t let this attack be the narrative on faith.

The contributors to FaithAction's Faith With its Sleeves Rolled Up
9th May 2013, Houses of Parliament


—— Daniel Singleton, National Executive Director of FaithAction




MCB PRESS RELEASE: Muslims Condemn Attack on Soldier in Woolwich

The following is a press release from the Muslim Council of Britain.

  • No cause justifies this murder
  • A barbaric act that has no basis in Islam and we condemn this unreservedly
  • Vast majority of British Muslims acknowledge armed forces for the work they do
  • Calls for calm and unity in all communities

The Muslim Council of Britain this evening spoke out, in the strongest possible terms, the news of a horrific murder that has taken place in Woolwich, London. Eye-witnesses suggest that the murderers made Islamic slogans during their heinous action and were thus motivated by their Islamic faith. 

This is a truly barbaric act that has no basis in Islam and we condemn this unreservedly. Our thoughts are with the victim and his family. We understand the victim is a serving member of the Armed Forces.  Muslims have long served in this country’s Armed Forces, proudly and with honour. This attack on a member of the Armed Forces is dishonourable, and no cause justifies this murder.

This action will no doubt heighten tensions on the streets of the United Kingdom. We call on all our communities, Muslim and non-Muslim, to come together in solidarity to ensure the forces of hatred do not prevail. It is important we allow our police authorities to do their job without speculation. We also urge the utmost vigilance and ask the police authorities to calm tensions.


Select Committee Says Work Programme Fails The Most Disadvantaged

A report from the Work and Pensions Select Committee on the Work Programme has found that, while the scheme has the potential to help mainstream jobseekers, the attempt to financially incentivize providers to support more difficult cases is ineffective, resulting in disadvantaged jobseekers being given little help as they are seen as unlikely to enter sustained work. The report also shows that underperformance has led to payment-by-results spending being nearly £250m under budget, and the Committee suggests the unused money should be spent to better support disadvantaged claimants.

The report also praises the ‘black box’ approach, where providers are free to choose their own methods, but calls for Government-set safeguards to prevent providers from ignoring the more difficult cases. Other findings in the report show a lack of transparency in referral and performance data, the exclusion of specialist providers, and poor working relationships between Jobcentre Plus and Work Programme staff affecting claimaints.

Homeless charity Crisis has welcomed the findings, saying the Work Programme has been a ‘huge disappointment’ to homeless jobseekers.

The full report is available here.


Youth Work Popular with Schools, but Barriers Still Exist

CYPNow reports of an online survey carried out by the National Youth Agency shows that more than 90% of the 550 educational professionals that responded believe that youth work should have a place in formal education. Results indicate that nearly two thirds of responses come from those working at a school that partners with youth workers. Of those that did not, a lack of understanding and financial barriers were given as the main reasons why.

NYA’s chief executive Fiona Blacke said, “there is still work to be done to help education providers understand the role of youth work and to see it as complementing formal education.”

The full story is available at CYPNow.


Below-Average Payroll Giving Found in Govt. Departments

Civil Society reports on a Freedom of Information request made by payroll giving agency Workplace Giving, that reveals figures on the level of payroll giving by Governmental departments, with many of the 15 included being below the national average of 6%.

The Cabinet Office, which includes the Office of Civil Society, was one of the ones below average, with an uptake of fewer than 5%. The highest uptake was the Department of Education with 12.5%, while the lowest was the Department of International Development, with just 3.9%.

The full story is available at Civil Society.




Charity Commission Public Meeting

3rd July; Nottingham Voluntary Action Centre

The independent regulator of charities in England and Wales is inviting trustees, charities and charity advisers to attend its next public meeting, featuring its first surgery session, and advice on fraud, the role of the Commission, and annual returns.

More information is available at the Charity Commission.


Inclusion: Making mentoring work

25th June; Avonmouth House, London

A seminar that explores mentoring in the criminal justice system, and how new ‘Transforming Rehabilitation’ plans will affect organisations involved.

More information is available at Inclusion.




The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has published a summary of its studies of Housing with Care, a method for supporting older people with high needs.


The Cabinet Office’s Centre for Social Impact Bonds has launched its Knowledge Box, an online resource providing information on all aspects of Social Impact Bonds.


Skills – Third Sector, the Third Sector Research Centre and NCVO have launched the UK Voluntary Sector Workforce Almanac 2013, a website showing how the voluntary workforce has changed over the last decade.


Hardware trade supplier Screwfix has opened its own charity, the Screwfix Foundation, to support projects that repair, maintain and improve community facilities and homes of people in need.


The Investment and Contract Readiness Fund is now accepting applications for grants from social ventures looking to raise investment or bid on contracts.


Nesta have launched CrowdingIn, an online directory of sources of crowdfunding.