The FbRN Survey Results – What you’re doing – 18th March 2014

From December to February we ran a survey asking you about your faith-based social action. Thank you again to all those who took the time to respond and tell us what you’re involved with in your regions. As ever, we learned a lot from you!

Social action has always responded to need, and we asked you about the needs in your communities. We wanted to know what you worked on already, and what was changing. Would you tell us you were seeing the same needs regardless of geography? Were any trends emerging?

We knew you were already busy. We included almost forty categories of social action in the survey, including health, working with offenders and ex-offenders, sport and anti-racism, and none was left unticked. You were clearly engaged with the needs in your communities in a broad and embedded way, doing all you could to ensure no-one was excluded. We wanted to know what new needs, if any, had emerged in 2013. Your responses were diverse, but some key areas emerged: food and fuel poverty, debt, loneliness, employment issues. When we asked what you were doing to respond to the emerging issues, you were already on the case, often responding quickly as needs became apparent: food banks, debt advice, emergency winter packs, employment support and advice. It seemed these were responses to crises affecting people in your communities (such as “problems arising from cuts”) and not projects aimed at structural change or redevelopment.

You told us about making financial changes, aiming to underpin future work and to improve your communities. You said you were supporting or “moving towards social enterprise”, “[setting up] credit unions” or “exploring the local economy as an asset-based approach to community development”. Funding, as ever, was a factor in the development of your work, though this seemed unlikely to stop your activities. Wherever need remained or emerged, you were stepping up to make a difference.

 We are here to help. FbRN has a wide range of online resources, we run and take part in events and can advise on changes, transitions, new models and structures and much more. The FbRN network across the UK has much to share and learn from each other, so do let us know if you have anything to offer, any questions, any needs we may be able to help with. We’d love to hear your social action stories too. Get in touch and tell us what’s happening!