Jessica Foster, Near Neighbours Development Worker writes:
I am really pleased that the Goverment announced last week a second round of Near Neighbours funding which will mean we can continue some of the work that has been developing over the last three years or so. An extract from the official press release follows:-
A £3 million grant from Government will enable the Near Neighbours programme to expand to new areas within the UK and to support existing community projects over the next two years, it was announced last week
Near Neighbours is a partnership between the Church Urban Fund and the Archbishop’s Council, and is funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government. It aims to bring people of different faiths together to change their communities and build trusting relationships.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said:
“This renewed funding is recognition of the hard work and prayer put in over the last three years by hundreds of people from local faith communities supported by the national church and inter faith groups. That work has touched thousands of lives and strengthened the fabric of our society. We have heard some great stories from Near Neighbours over the last three years and we look forward to many more.”
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles who announced the new funding said:
“It’s been terrific to see Near Neighbours go from strength to strength over the past three years, helping grass roots groups to improve the lives of those around them through practical action. These fantastic projects have been met with huge amounts of enthusiasm, creating a sense of lasting community spirit, and helping to transform neighbourhoods in the process.
“This extra money is a real investment in our shared future that will enable Near Neighbours to reach many more communities so they can become even better places to live.”
The new funding will mean that there will be some small grants in the Birmingham area and the programme will develop in parts of the Black Country. Near Neighbours Development Worker, Jessica Foster, will remain in a capacity-building role based at the Faithful Neighbourhoods Centre. Find out more here or contact Jess@nearneighbours.com.