Solihull Faith Action Project

A showcase of F&BF’s Faith Action Project in Solihull

Programme Overview


What is missing in our current model is community power: the role of local people, acting together spontaneously or through enduring institutions, to design and deliver the kind of neighbourhood they want to be part of. The economic and social model we need for the future has community power, and the civil society that enables it, at its heart. This is the way to level up the country – to make great places ‘from within’ rather than by outside interventions. 

In August 2022, the Faith New Deal (FND) initiative commissioned projects across the UK to explore possibilities of new partnerships between Faith-Based Organisation (FBOs) and statutory services. This initiative came as a response to the Kruger report, quoted above, which called for a“new deal” between government and faith communities, “actively supporting the extraordinary work of organisations of all faiths.”  

This call – to honour and explore the exceptional and vital role which faith plays in the fabric of our society – is central to our values at F&BF. Thus, we proposed a project in partnership with the Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council (SMBC), uniting those who are motivated by faith to social action, and decision makers in the council through community organising and co-production.  

What did we do?

  • Held 40+ 1-2-1 conversations with members of diverse faith communities identifying their: Concerns, Hopes, Fears and Their relationship with the council. 
  • Recruited 14 representatives from faith-based social action projects to take part. 
  • Held 6 social action workshops exploring community organising approaches such as conducting Listening Campaigns, Mapping issues in Solihull, and Action Planning together with SMBC representatives. 
  • 1 Information Session led by Solihull Council.  ‘Understanding how the council works’, setting expectations on their priorities and budget constraints.  
  • Coordinated a networking lunch where we presented our action plans to the community and the Solihull Council leadership including the head of the council: asking for public support of our work going forwards.
  • Held Faith inclusion Trainings for SMBC. 

FBOs: solving local problems and supporting local cohesion

One of the main successes of the programme is the participatory methodology employed. This methodology was developed in a way where participants are both participating and shaping the project at the same time. This enabled participants to work together to develop a common agenda to make their local area better while collaborating and creating better relationships as a group. Through a mapping exercise, and after conducting listening campaigns with their communities, participants identified the main issues in Solihull as: poverty, hate crime and loneliness. 

Through participatory methodology barriers of communication between the faith communities were broken down through actively listening and sharing common experiences, while the communication between the faith communities and SMBC is becoming stronger through clear and fresh relationships between both parties. The participatory methodology employed in this project helped FBOs to find issues of common concern; moving from talk to action. As a result of this project the following social action is taking place: 

Short-term social action

  1. 3 organisations have registered as places of welcome and others are discussing shared welcoming spaces.
  2. During Ramadan we filled 7 food bank boxes.
  3. Committed to running multifaith walks supported by a mental health first aid programme.
  4. Committed to joining the food bank network.
  5. Committed to continued relationship with the community development team, sharing ideas and learning. 

Both SMBC and the participants acknowledged the importance of an external party (F&BF) mediating this process and are keen for the partnership to continue. Thus, we are seeking to secure funds to support the Multifaith Action Hub to continue developing solutions to the long-term issues identified: poverty, hate crime and loneliness. Watch this space! 

Long-term social action include campaign on poverty, hate crime and loneliness which will hopefully be developed as the follow up from this project.

Check out Mahmooda’s blog  where she writes about her experience building community relationships in Solihull.


Want to get in touch with our FBOs? 

Faith Based OrganisationNameEmailContact numberFaith
The Olton ProjectSally Shehatasally@theoltonproject.com07949 910 456Muslim
St Augustine's RC Churchstaugustine.solihull@rcaob.org.uk0121 705 0228Christian
Solihull SikhsHarpreet Atwalharpreet@atwalwealth.co.uk07970 749 536Sikh
Solihull SikhsSuki Atwalsukhi@atwalwealth.co.uk07793 124 421Sikh
Solihull SikhsRupinder Wilkhumicro_cad@hotmail.com07827 842100Sikh
Solihull Methodist ChurchRev. Molly Chitokwindorevmollychi@gmail.com07878757 024Christian
Solihull HubAdil Abbasiadil@solihullhub.org07813 875 745Muslim
Solihull HubHassina Karimhassina.karim@btinternet.com07429 148336Muslim
Sandalls Cottage (Solihull Masjid) Zahida HussainZahida-afet@hotmail.com07960 881 207Muslim
Sandalls Cottage (Solihull Masjid) Dr Sadia Ahmedsadia.ahmad@ukim.org07817549 693Muslim
New Testament Church of GodPastor Richard Jonespastorjones.ntcgkingshurst@aol.co.uk07772 942 876Christian
Solihull Baha'isSemira Manaseki-Hollands.manasekiholland@bham.ac.uk07883858 939Bahai
Czech & Slovak Slovak Club UKMiriam Masiarovamiriam.masiarova17@gmail.com07811321 713Christian
Connection Church, KinghurstEmil Kerekespastor@weareconnectionchurch.com0747 889 1196
0121 770 9759

Stay connected with the latest our FBOs are doing by joining our Facebook Group: Solihull Faith Action Project

For more information, get in touch with our West Midlands Programme Coordinator: Mahmooda@faithbeliefforum.org

Subscribe to our mailing list

    We will add your details to our mailing list for the latest news, events and opportunities, including details of how to support us. You can opt out at any time. Your details are safe with us. We will never share them with anyone else. Check out our Privacy Policy.