Published: 18 May 2006 at 10:11
A database that brings together information on thousands of faith groups in the East of England, and a new project to assist faiths in their vital work in serving the wider community, are launched today [18 May] in Cambridge.
Research commissioned last year by the East of England Faiths Council indicated the major contribution of faiths to life in the region; worshipping groups provide community services ranging from skills training to shelters for the homeless, worth over £30 million a year. It also highlighted the desire of faith groups to do more to meet the needs of people of all faiths or none, and the constraints that held them back, from lack of funds to the requirement to adapt premises.
FaithNetEast is a new project established by the Faiths Council in collaboration with Anglia Ruskin University to address some of these issues and unlock the potential of faith groups to make an even greater contribution. It will provide the opportunity for faith groups to come together through events covering topics such as assessment of local need; securing and training volunteers, and accessing funding ands partnerships. There will also be regular newsletters and electronic bulletins, and two pilot projects will be assisted by a development worker to generate ideas and guidance for others.
Launching the initiative, Maqsood Ahmed of the Home Office Cohesion and Faiths Unit said:
Ellis Weinberger, co-chair of the East of England Faiths Council, adds:
concludes Dr Dinham.
Those wishing to find out more, be registered on the database or become part of FaithNetEast can access the web site on www.faithneteast.org.uk or contact Dr Adam Dinham on 0845 196 2557.