Christian Charity Saltbox has conducted a 2016 Stoke-on-Trent Faith Action Audit to measure how much the faith community is contributing to the lives of local people.
Saltbox conducted its first Faith Action Audit (FAA) in 2006 and has pioneered the use of FAAs to highlight the community contribution of faith groups. The 2016 audit found that there are 159 faith groups within the city, consisting of 130 churches, 19 mosques, madrasas and Islamic centres, 2 gurdwaras and various other faith groups.
Each group was asked what community activities they run and how often, how many people benefit from them, the number of employees and volunteers and the hours they put into the project. The response rate of just under 50% provided a good starting point for extrapolating data to give an accurate picture of what faith groups are doing for the communities of Stoke-on-Trent.
The audit identified over 500 community projects being run by faith groups in 2016 in the Stoke-on-Trent area. Overall, these projects benefit a total of 14,000 people of all ages, every week.
20% of this work focuses on giving children a good start in life, 16% goes toward helping older people have better lives and 16% of these projects are aimed at reducing social isolation. Other areas covered by these projects are: supporting families, community cohesion, working with young people, working with refugees & asylum seekers, creating safer communities, helping people with addiction, helping people build skills for employment and offering support for people in financial crises.
There are 150 employees and 3,000 volunteers working on these projects. A combination of the total number of volunteer and employee hours multiplied by the national Living Wage (£7.20 per hour), determined that local faith groups contribute a staggering £2.4 million per year to Stoke-on-Trent communities.
The £2.4. million does not include the work being done by faith-based organisations such as Saltbox, YMCA, RubyGirl UK, Cross Rhythms and others working across Stoke-on-Trent. This work creates savings for the NHS, police and local authorities on account of the projects being run across the city.
For further information on the Stoke-on-Trent Faith Action Audit 2016 please contact Tim Lucas, Church Liaison Officer at Saltbox on 01782 207 200.