How do we sustain our work? Funding, partnership, creativity | 23 September

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness - a good time to take stock.

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness – our autumn meeting on 23 September.

From the hum-drum to the unexpected, this is an excellent opportunity to take a good look at

  • how local work is supported
  • the changing context in London
  • the value of local work – how do other people see us?
  • supporters & partners
  • pragmatism and the long view

We are delighted that Martin Shaw of Midas Appeals will be with us, sharing his wide experience and wisdom.

We’ll also have an update on Near Neighbours and Together in Service and hear from those working closely with the public sector.

There will also be time to talk about the events of the summer, overseas and here in London.

We are meeting at 77-79 Charlotte Street, W1T 4PW (Goodge St tube) on Tuesday 23 September 4-6pm.  Please let the convener know by 19 September if you’re hoping to come along and if you have further suggestions for the agenda.  The late afternoon timing is to make it easier for people who are at work to join us.

22 January Together in Service funding briefing

togetherinservicelogoUpdate on the new DCLG Together in Service funding, which looks promising for LBFN members:

There’s a briefing for Londoners on Wednesday 22 January 10am-12pm at Bethnal Green Mission Church, 305 Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9LH.  There’s also a chance to talk to the TiS team individually about potential projects.

The next application deadline is 5pm on 6 February.  More information from the TiS website.

The grants (£2,000 – £5,000) are supporting new initiatives from faith-based groups, working with other faith groups, open to the whole community, encouraging volunteering and enhancing community life.  Each group (which must be registered as a charity) will also be expected to match the TiS funding in kind or cash.

Ring 0845 094 6350 or e-mail to book a place or to find out more.

Matched funding for local activities

togetherinservicelogoThe successor to 2012’s A Year of Service is Together in Service, a programme supported by the government and offering small grants, if matched by a similar amount from another source, to local faith-based groups.  The government website includes the programme under the policy Bringing people together in strong, united communities, which says

Promoting responsibility

Together in Service is a 3-year programme to celebrate and link up faith-based social action. A Together in Service fund of up to £300,000 over 3 years is available in the form of small grants for multi-faith projects. Up to £1,000 will be on offer to help get local projects off the ground in areas where there may be a lack of confidence or knowledge in undertaking volunteering work in a multi-faith way.

The programme is being run by FaithAction, which has set up a special website.  You need to join the Together in Service Fellowship (which offers news, resources & a calendar of events) in order to download the application form and apply for funding.  The Grant Application Pack gives a good idea of what the government hopes to support:

FaithAction will be administering an annual pot of £160,000. This is available as 1:1 match-funding for small grants of £2,000 and £5,000 – the Together in Service Fund – to facilitate new multi-faith social action projects at a local level, where there is often a lack of confidence in undertaking volunteering work in a multi-faith way.

FaithAction wishes to support a wide range of activities aimed at improving the quality of life for local people.

Through our grant making, we aim to:

  • Target community need that is informed by local research and local consultation
  • Focus support to achieve maximum effectiveness
  • Enhance community and voluntary activity
  • Encourage best practice among community and voluntary groups
  • Give help where it is needed most

The focus on local work and the wide range of social action activities which will be considered means that many multifaith groups in London are likely to be eligible.

The fund will be launched this Thursday 21 November 10am – 12 noon at Westminster Cathedral Hall with Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP and FaithAction’s Director, Daniel Singleton.  Details of how to register for this are here.

Shall we talk about this, and maybe a wider conversation about the resourcing of local and voluntary activities, at our next meeting in the new year?  In the meantime, let’s hope there are plenty of successful applications in London.

Harvest Festival: Opening the Doors to the Wider Community

Many thanks to Helen Fitton, National Project Manager of A Year Of Service, for sending in this guest post for LBFN members.

Helen is happy to hear from local churches, faith forums and others who would like to get involved.  If you’re in south London, Siriol Davies is supporting local AYOS activities and will put you in touch with other participants.

Every year, Harvest festival brings communities together.  Traditionally a way of celebrating and giving thanks for our food, Harvest is a time of sharing and giving. 

This year, churches across the nation are not only celebrating Harvest festival in their own communities, but are reaching out to those of all faiths, as part of the A Year of Service initiative.  Throughout this year, there are 12 ‘Days of Volunteering’, each coinciding with a religious festival or existing volunteering day, and each focusing on a particular type of social action (e.g. visiting the elderly).  Each faith community, in turn, is promoting its own day or days in neighbourhoods and businesses, and inviting people from other faiths or without religious beliefs to work together.The month of August was devoted to Ramadan, where Muslim communities up and down the country held multi-faith events, including the Afghan Olympic team sharing an iftar meal with the local community in Palmers Green Mosque and an interfaith workshop for all hosted by Southampton Medina Mosque.

Harvest festival promises to see communities come together for a wide variety of inspiring events revolving around the social action theme of ‘feeding the hungry’, welcoming those of other faiths into their communities, just as Ramadan did, and all the other Days of Volunteering so far. 

If your Church is collecting food for Harvest, why not invite neighbours of different faiths to join in?  Find out more here or contact A Year of Service, either to know more about hosting or to find out where events are taking place in your local area.

AYOS is sponsored by the Department of Communities and Local Government.