Faith groups allocated £1.3 million in pilot to build on pandemic community support

Funding has been allocated to 16 faith groups as part of a £1.3 million pilot to build on community support for vulnerable people during the pandemic.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) said the “Faith New Deal” would provide funding for faith-based organisations to work with councils, schools, police, health providers and voluntary groups to develop “innovative interventions” to tackle social issues.

The projects will include providing debt and employability advice, tackling food poverty, providing support for mental health issues and combatting loneliness and isolation, the department said.

Faith minister Paul Scully (pictured) said: “We saw the instrumental role that faith organisations played in supporting vulnerable people during the pandemic. Working closely with local partners, councils and government, they supported communities where they need it most.

“This pilot scheme will build on that vital work so that faith organisations and their partners can continue to support communities as they recover.”

The biggest award, for £200,000, has been given to the Church Revitalisation Trust, a charity based in Kensington and Chelsea, west London, which focuses on “church planting” in cities across the country.

The money was provided for the charity’s “Love Your Neighbour” initiative, which it says focuses on supporting people in crisis, such as through providing food and immediate support, as well as offering services such as debt advice, employment training and community activities and support groups.

The lowest award, for £7,586, was given to Caring For God’s Acre, a charity based in Shropshire, which says it focuses on the conservation of burial sites and supporting the volunteers who look after and maintain them.

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