21 / 01 / 14
2013 was a time of change and development for 3FF – from being joined by several great new members of staff to launching a completely new programme: 3FF Training. Other exciting firsts included starting an intercultural choir – the Mixed Up Chorus – and hosting a breakfast for head teachers at the Houses of Parliament.
Here’s what our teams got up to in 2013, and what they have planned for 2014:
The annual exhibition at Red Gallery in October was the busiest ever with an audience of 1746 including 150 school children who came to visit the gallery and one of our 5 special events. 79% of attendees were between 26-45 years old and more than 60% had not attended an interfaith event before. The event was covered on BBC Radio, the Times, Evening Standard, Prospect Magazine, and the Jerusalem Post, to mention a few.
Our new intercultural choir – The Mixed Up Chorus – launched in October 2013, led by our talented director Jeremy Haneman. The Choir meets weekly and has already attracted over 50 members in its first 3 months, singing a diverse repertoire of music from all traditions. Members range from 9-76 years old, with two families represented by 3 generations.
This year, we hope to create a year-round series of events including ‘pop-up’ Urban Dialogues events for broader audiences. We also hope to create a programme of collaborations and performances with the Mixed Up Chorus.
Our Training and Partnerships Team delivered over 50 trainings in 2013, reaching more than 700 people. We trained clients as diverse as Camden Council, NUS, The Institute of Education, Swaminarayan Temple and the British Humanist Association.
As well as expanding our training offers in the UK, we’ve been busy building partnerships abroad. We supported the Swedish project “Face to Face” to bring interfaith workshops to Stockholm schools and ran a week-long study visit exploring inclusion for 20 Slovakian teachers and school leaders.
In 2014 we’re bringing 3FF training to more organizations and looking into an online learning platform to connect and support practitioners who complete our training. We’re also growing our partnerships in Sweden to make interfaith and intercultural understanding part and parcel of the school system there.
3FF’s Schools Team reached several thousand young people in 2013 through our workshops and our school linking programme. Particularly special was our ‘Faith and Football’ event at Wembley Stadium, which brought together sixty pupils from Muslim, Christian and Jewish schools, using football to develop positive relations between students of different faiths and beliefs. We also enjoyed our breakfast meeting for Head Teachers and Senior Leaders at the Houses of Parliament during National Inter Faith Week.
We recently welcomed two new members of staff to the Schools Team as well as a new batch of volunteer speakers, who are the first recruits in our new volunteer training and development programme.
2014 will see us expand our programmes deeper into schools and further across the country: we’re about to start offering our flagship ‘Encountering Faiths and Beliefs‘ workshop in primary schools, and we’ve developed our teacher training programmes too.
45 young upcoming leaders began their journey on our ParliaMentors programme in 2013. In December, they delivered 15 social action projects in 7 cities attracting a total of more than 500 people. Campaigns they ran included refugee awareness, anti FGM, tackling homelessness, increasing political engagement, youth employability and more. ParliaMentors produced documentaries and exhibitions, they delivered workshops, trainings, assemblies and they ran advice surgeries and collection points as well as organising events including panel discussions, open forums, consultations and more.
In 2014, these young leaders can look forward to six months of mentoring by high profile MP Mentors including Chris Grayling, Sarah Teather and Lilian Greenwood. Mentors have previously included, Ian Duncan Smith, Hazel Blears and Zac Goldsmith. You can see a full list here and learn more about the ParliaMentors programme here.
In 2013 we had 28 interns from many different backgrounds who supported our work while gaining valuable skills and experience. Recent interns went on to exciting opportunities after their internships, including Parliamentary Assistant for Ben Bradshaw MP, a journalism qualification at the Press Association, academia and various professional positions.
We’ve developed new training and development opportunities available as part of the internship programme; our new employability session was “far more useful than anything we had at uni” according to one intern.
In 2014 we’ll continue to build on this through delivering fortnightly skills building sessions for interns. We’re keen to keep in touch with former interns and invite them back for events and networking opportunities, and to make sure our internships are available to people from all backgrounds, so if you or someone you know is interested please get in touch.