Faith groups form an important part of community life in Southwark. There are an estimated 300+ places of worship in the borough enabling faith groups to support people from all walks of life, cutting across all communities. For some vulnerable groups, in times of crisis, faith organisations are often a first port of call.
Through more collaborative working between statutory services, the faith sector and voluntary and community sector groups there is an opportunity to reach individuals from seldom heard communities and support positive health behaviours in order to prevent crisis and improve the health and wellbeing of our local population.
Working together and small grants programme
The Public Health Team at Southwark Council are working with Community Southwark to engage with local faith groups to explore opportunities to promote positive health messages through faith communities in Southwark.
We are holding an initial event with faith leaders on the 9th May This will enable us to hear directly from faith leaders about the health concerns they see in their communities and what they feel would help them to engage with congregations on health messages.
Following this exploration event we will be developing design challenge brief for faith leaders. This will pose a health based question or problem that we are asking faith leaders to help develop solutions for. Leaders can put forward ideas and in June we will have a follow up workshop where faith leaders can further develop their ideas with input from health professionals. A number of ideas will be awarded a small grant to help them become a reality.
Through this grant programme we will be able to explore different ways that faith leaders can play a role in supporting positive health in the communities. We will also be developing an online toolkit to help inspire faith leaders about how they can support positive health in their communities.