Thank you to everyone who has supported us and taken an interest in the Faith & Belief Forum during 2019. The need to build good relations between people of different faiths, beliefs and identities has become even greater this past year. It is clear from hate crime statistics and growing polarisation that our work is needed more than ever. We must respond accordingly, with greater determination.
As another year draws to a close it is also important to pause and impart the good news, that F&BF works! Over the past 12 months, with your support, we have broadened our reach across the UK though our national LGBT+Faith and ParliaMentors programmes; and we have deepened our engagement in the London boroughs of Barking & Dagenham and Waltham Forest, and in the metropolitan borough of Walsall in the West Midlands. Meanwhile, schools have remained a central focus with new online resources developed for teachers. Here are our highlights from a busy year.
In 2019 we:
- continued to teach a generation not to hate through primary and secondary faith school linking and faith awareness workshops in schools in London and Birmingham;
- piloted a new, unique suite of online resources for Religious Education and other secondary school teachers;
- worked with a further cohort of 50 young leaders with diverse faith & belief identities from 10 universities across the UK, to prime their leadership journeys;
- reached people from over 80 LGBT+ organisations in England, Scotland and Wales to strengthen their provision for LGBT people of faith;
- recognised a further 120 organisations for their contribution to belonging in the capital through our annual Faith & Belief Community Awards in partnership with the Greater London Lieutenancy;
- increased to 70 the number of organisations across the country signed up to our Charter for Faith & Belief Inclusion;
- commissioned research into the place of faith & belief in social cohesion in collaboration with the British Academy;
- launched a major dialogue programme in Walsall to address divisions and strengthen relations in collaboration with Walsall council and community groups;
- facilitated the creation of a Faith Policy with Council and communities in the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham, to maximise the role played by people of different faiths & beliefs in nurturing good relations in the borough;
- improved the engagement of people from different faiths & beliefs in the arts through our collaboration with the National Theatre;
- drew in new supporters through our second Gala featuring Omid Djalili amongst others; and
- expanded our education work with health care professionals in Israel/Palestine to 8 hospitals.
Many thanks to all our donors and partners, and to everyone who follows and engages with us. We need to do more. To do so we need your continued support. Please consider joining our speaker programme, nominating organisations and individuals for a faith & belief community award in 2020, taking on a challenge to raise funds, or volunteering to support the delivery of our programme.
More information on how to get involved here.
With very best wishes from all of us here at F&BF.
Director, the Faith & Belief Forum