Building Closer Communities in Barking & Dagenham

Building Closer Communities is a groundbreaking project from the Faith & Belief Forum which enables residents in Barking & Dagenham to meet, share, and explore issues related to faith, belief, and culture. The project ran from November 2020 to March 2021, and was generously funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government.

Through this project we helped create stronger connections across different communities by increasing understanding and breaking down misconceptions and stereotypes. Below is a piece of digital artwork by Oreyemi Arts that captures the project.

What we delivered

There were many ways local people could get involved in this project, please explore the options below.

In light of  Covid 19, it seems more important than ever to create platforms where people can come together to connect (and reconnect) to share their own experiences. Through this project, we aimed to capture stories and experiences of those living in Barking & Dagenham from a range of diverse voices.

Our overarching aims were:

  • Build strong local connections with people from a different faith or belief background
  • Learn from the experiences and expertise of faith groups across the borough, with the potential to collaborate and support each other’s social action initiatives
  • Improve confidence through sharing of their own personal stories, experiences, and beliefs
  • Provide local leaders (community connectors) skills in interfaith and online facilitation experience

Through two 90-minute interactive dialogue sessions, over 80 local people from 7 local organisations had the opportunity to meet, share and explore issues related to faith, belief, and culture. Two members also had access to free training and to join our network of Community Connectors.

Click here to read a blog about the experience. 

If you are interested in finding out more about this project, please email: Jessica@faithbeliefforum.org

We were delighted to offer our flagship interfaith encounter workshop for FREE for schools across Barking and Dagenham! Our Encountering Faiths and Belief workshop brings real-life experiences of faith, belief and identity into the classroom. Adaptable to students from Year 3 to Year 13, our facilitated workshops allow students to hear from a panel of trained speakers who share their personal stories, and to have a safe space to ask questions.

Through this funding, we adapted our in person workshops into a successful online recourse.

If you are interested in finding out more about this work, please email: Jessica@faithbeliefforum.org

We passionately feel that long term investment in building faith relations is of vital importance to social cohesion, and our training for Local Authority workers can support the strategies already in place to benefit your entire community. Through our varied and challenging training sessions we support participants to: better understand the diverse ways residents relate to faith, religion and belief; feel more confident establishing open and welcoming environments for residents of different backgrounds; and learn practical ways to ensure people of faith are included and welcomed.

For more information and to register interest in a workshop for you or your team, contact siobhan@faithbeliefforum.org

This project supported emerging faith and community leaders to build stronger relationships with each other and in their local community, work together on issues that matter to them, and have their voices heard.

If you are interested in finding out more about this work, please email: Jessica@faithbeliefforum.org

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