Staff Showcase – Siobhán Anderson
22 / 06 / 20
29 / 06 / 20
Your name and job title:
Eli Tamir, Fundraising and Development Coordinator
What made you initially interested in interfaith work?
Interfaith work has always been rooted in my family upbringing. Hearing two languages at home made me appreciative and curious about other cultures and practices. This was developed when I studied French and Spanish at University keen to embrace and learn about other communities.
Why do you feel it’s still required in our world? What motivates you?
People are often sheltered in their communities leading to ignorance of the other. This can heighten prejudices, stereotypes and fear. I believe that the more connections we have with one another the more we can erase tensions and build trust, understanding and empathy both for ourselves as individuals and for our neighbours in order to live side by side peacefully. I have personally been enriched getting to know friends from different faiths, giving me different perspectives and outlooks. Conversations have often enhanced my own sense of religious and cultural identity.
How did you first hear about F&BF?
I always knew about the organisation, but it was only after leaving university that I took more of an interest and was more aware of the grassroots work taking place. This appealed to me as I just came out of teaching and wanted to remain in informal education.
How would you explain what you do to someone completely unfamiliar with our work, and what is your favourite aspect of your job?
I keep our network of stakeholders updated with the work that we do trying to gain as much input as possible from them, with the aim of including them in our dialogue. I facilitate interactions between people who might not ordinarily meet each other primarily through events fundraising. I try to widen the profile of the organisation to new supporters.
Through working at FBF I love the fact that I have encountered such a diverse mix of like minded individuals with whom I can connect on a deep level and whose values I admire: these include faith leaders, dignitaries, community workers, artists, activists of all ages, children, students, teachers, parents and of course my colleagues. They are all working tirelessly to build a more connected cohesive society, which is what the world needs now more than ever!
What is the most common misconception about your job? And what is the truth?
People assume we only work with people who are religious. When we used to be called 3FF people always thought we only work with three faiths. Now with the new name it is much easier to clarify that we are an organisation who work to build bridges between people across all different religious and non- religious backgrounds.
What didn’t you realise about interfaith until working at F&BF?
I didn’t realise until working at F&BF what it truly means to create ‘inclusive’ events that welcome everyone. For example ensuring a diverse range of speakers and attendees at any one event offering multiple voices and outlooks, exploring different mediums such as music, visual arts, theatre, food, that allow people to connect with each other and open up rich conversation, more practical considerations such as providing food and drink that accommodates everyone, meeting accessibility needs and the list goes on….
What are you most proud of during your time here at F&BF?
I am proud to have worked on a broad range of unique interfaith projects that have inspired conversation and dialogue and changed people’s attitudes. I have particularly witnessed this through the power of music and drama that bring us closer together and understand each other better, taking us outside of ourselves and striving towards a common goal. A special moment for me was producing the first Gala Dinner for the organisation in 2018, creating an annual platform for a network of 200 stakeholders to dine together, learn and support the work that we do.
What floats your boat outside of work?
I love being a mum and discovering new facets about my daughter every day. I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I also love music, nature (very appreciative that some parks have been open during this pandemic!) and travelling.