Faiths In Action
Faiths in Action was a £4.4 million grant programme for faith, inter-faith and VCS groups and organisations in England between April 2009 and March 2011. The programme supported a total of 575 projects within local communities and focused on facilitating better understanding and developing positive relationships between people of different faiths, those of no faith and wider civil society.
CDF’s research was based on surveys of participating groups, focus groups and telephone and face-to-face interviews with project leads, national stakeholder and faith representatives. It found that Faiths in Action had a number of impacts on communities:
- On average 338 people benefited from each of the 575 locally-funded projects and nearly 200,000 people benefited across the whole programme
- Each project increased volunteering by an average of seven people. This resulted in an additional 4,000 volunteers involved in inter-faith or multi-faith activity at a local level
- 73 per cent of Faiths in Action projects encouraged ‘social action’. Faith-based social action has been described as happening ‘when people of faith work together, often with others outside their faith community, in order to achieve real and positive change within their local community, or in wider society’
- Conservation of the physical environment has been a positive focus of inter faith social action projects. Conservation activities provide an uncontroversial and positively focused context for people of all faiths and no faith to join together
- Sports and arts can be particularly effective in reaching those hardest to reach and promoting inter-faith activities. These activities worked particularly well with young people.
Participants in Faiths in Action projects expressed a genuine sense of achievement from the transformation of their perspective and indicated that huge steps had been taken in a relatively short period of time. A large number of groups also felt that their project was contributing to integration in their local area.
For more information, please contact Sarah Golden on 020 7812 5438 or email@example.com.