The BHFA is pleased to report the Communities Fund Grant Workshop for Faith Organisations was a roaring success, with very positive feedback from participants. Attendees were particularly pleased with the quality of the trainers, who they felt explained the complexities of applying for Council funding well and were much better informed and confident in applying after the training.
Applying for funding from the Council has been difficult, if not impossible, in the past. The council would automatically reject funding applications from faith groups that cited a belief in God in their constitution, so many faith groups stopped applying. Since the 2012 Equalities Act came into force it is illegal for public bodies to discriminate on the basis of faith or religion.
Last year the BHFA supported a funding application from One Church but they were rejected by the Council because their constitution cited a belief in God. The BHFA took up the case with the Council’s equalities department and we’re pleased to report that they agreed that this was a breach of the Equalities Act. The Council have therefore retraining relevant staff and applications from faith groups will no longer be rejected on the basis that the applicant holds religious beliefs.
In addition, the Council’s Equalities department organised and delivered this training workshop in September, led by the superb Sarah Tighe-Ford and Michelle Pooley, in order to help faith groups apply for funding. The BHFA and Community Works were pleased to jointly promote this training and we’re very happy with this positive and proactive approach the Council equalities department has shown towards our local faith community.