Lovely peeps, your roving reporters are pleased to report… wait… reporters would be reporting, wouldn’t they? Blast, I’ve got all tangled up, and I’m only one sentence in… let’s start again:
Last night Tiro and I attended the results night for the Faith Action Audit run by the Cinnamon Network. The national and local results were presented through the evening, with guest speakers ranging from the police to council members and those who run some of the faith-based social initiatives which Chesterfield benefits from, such as the work of the Trussell Trust food bank.
Divisional Commander Debbie Matthews, spoke about the current issues of her policing area and the benefits of having the Street Pastors working alongside officers, Councillor Alexis Diouf spoke about the importance of understanding localised community issues, with Mayor and Mayoress Bingham also in attendance. Pastor Toyin Taiwo from Grace Church and Rev. Simon Robinson spoke of needing to create stronger links between faith-based groups to benefit the community as a whole and make Chesterfield a better place for everyone. Rev. Mark Broomhead talked about his community in the Order of the Black Sheep, and vibrant entertainment was provided by Gaz Simmonds.
If we give you a flavour of some of the results that the survey found; there were 291 projects currently being run by 46 faith-based groups in Chesterfield alone, helping a total of 31,087 beneficiaries in 2014.
Let’s just go over that number again.
Over 31,000 people being helped every year, the majority of support being delivered by 2,004 volunteers in our town. Of those groups surveyed, 59% would like closer working relationships with other organisations. That’s not to say that there isn’t interfaith and collaborative work already being done, but that groups feel they want to do more.
Nationally, the figures are staggering: 16,068 social action projects, run by 2,110 groups, benefitting 3,494,634 people and delivered by 169,300 volunteers. Nationally 62% of organisations surveyed wanted to work closer with other organisations. You can download the full national report HERE
After the presentations and guest speakers, Tiro and I had a chance to network with the other lovely people, ask about some of the showcased projects and generally chat about how we can all make Chesterfield and the surrounding places a nicer, safer and kinder place to live for everyone.