Board bids for £400,000 grant to promote social integration


The Board of Deputies has joined Muslim and Hindu groups in a consortium to bid for a £400,000 government grant to promote social integration.

An application went in this week from the Board and its partners to run the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Strengthening Faith Institutions programme.

The other consortium members are the Jewish Volunteering Network, Hindu Council UK, New Horizons in British Islam, Faiths Forum for London, Faith Matters – the interfaith group set up by Muslim activist Fiyaz Mughal – and the Fayre Share Foundation, a charity founded by Jewish philanthropist Maurice Ostro.

The aim of the programme, according to the DCLG, is to give “faith institutions a stronger base from which to challenge intolerance and extremism of any kind and to engage better with women, young people and their wider communities”.

It is part of a wider strategy to “encourage them to participate further in society, build common ground between faiths and communities, and tackle intolerance and extremism”.

The winning consortium would be responsible for providing advice and training to religious institutions and would also have the power to award grants for local projects.

“Examples could be a football group run by a gurdwara attended by young people of all faiths and none, or a support group run by a mosque and a synagogue, primarily attended by women of those two faiths,” the DCLG said.

A Board spokesman said that “while it would be premature to comment in detail on a bid which is still under consideration, the Board of Deputies and its partners believe that, together, we can make a positive difference improving governance in faith organisations, helping religious leaders to learn from one another and supporting multi-faith social action.”

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