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Making connections with faith groups: where to begin

Start where you are.

You don’t have to be completely literate in all faiths, but you should ensure you are not illiterate.

Aim to know enough to be courteous and respectful. Resources are available to help navigate the faith calendar, for example, as well as food and clothing requirements.

Local authorities.

Local authorities often have strong links with local faith communities. Local authority officers with responsibility for equalities or partnerships will usually be used to working with local faith leaders, and some inter-faith fora are sponsored by Local Authorities.

New networks.

Recent public health crises like COVID-19 and the rise in cost of living have led to the formation of new channels of communication and support across sectors. Often, the faith communities most involved in supporting in times of crisis are best poised to engage in new initiatives. Find out which places of worship became vaccination centres or warm spaces, locally, for example. They may be a good place to start.

National organisations.

National organisations are sometimes able to help forge connections at a local level. Single-faith infrastructure and membership organisations may be able to direct you to active members, locally, whilst national faith charities with a mental health focus may know of case studies or local delivery partners

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