Walsall’s vibrant population is drawn from 20 wards, each one very different from the other. Given this there can be no one-size fits all approach to addressing the challenges communities face. The organisations and individuals we are celebrating here demonstrate the deep, generous pool of diverse creativity that is needed to tackle what is a wide range of societal issues that have the potential to exclude and divide. If we are to truly extend the benefits of our diverse society to all, then we need to ensure fair access to services, improve health and well-being, alleviate deprivation, promote inter-faith relations, and inspire the next generation.
We are also shining a light on the achievements of women from all walks of life and backgrounds, and on peace and reconciliation given the rise of hate crime and continued polarisation in the wake of the EU referendum three years ago. The fact that so many relatively small and modest organisations made up of people of different faiths and non-religious beliefs collaborate to achieve so much gives hope and inspiration.
The Faith and Belief Forum's Walsall Community Recognition Awards, with the support of Walsall for All, shines a light on those who do not receive sufficient recognition for the important work they do at the margins of our society. We are proud that over 120 projects and individuals have been recognised for their selfless work. May the examples of these inspiring projects motivate and challenge us.
Messages of support
People often use the terms “inspire” and “motivate” interchangeably. In theory they may seem related, but in fact they are worlds apart. “Inspire” translates to “in spirit.” Inspiration comes from within. The root word of “Motivate” is “motive,” which is an external force that causes us to take action. Motivation pushes you to accomplish a task, or work through a difficult event, even when you would rather be doing anything else. We are motivated by a result. Inspiration pulls you towards something that stirs your heart, mind, or spirit. We are inspired by a person, an event, or a circumstance. When we are inspired, we aren't thinking about the outcome - when we are filled with inspiration, we want to hold onto that feeling for as long as possible. Filled with inspiration, the feeling of purpose and meaning is enough to move us.
Those that work and live from a place of purpose are inspired every day to give 100%. They may get tired, but they can reach back to their higher purpose to be inspired.
These awards recognise and celebrate the living examples of inspiration here in Walsall. Everyone and everything is in-reach and I am all the more personally inspired for knowing, as highlighted on this website, that so many of you continue to be inspired to make that difference across our communities in Walsall.
Councillor Garry Perry
Pelsall Ward - Cabinet Lead for Leisure, Culture and Communities
Walsall residents may face misunderstanding, isolation or exclusion because of their culture, faith or belief. They may be further excluded, due to other aspects of their identities (e.g. ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, age and ability) – and this discrimination may take place within cultural/faith/belief groups or wider society. Projects within this category work at the intersection between cultural/ faith/belief and other aspects of identity – creating inclusive spaces.
Working at the neighbourhood level, projects within this category identify people who are often overlooked and excluded. These projects work overtime to connect people to life-saving public services offered by local councils and larger charities, as well as offering advice and support at the community level.
This category will celebrate the achievements and contributions of women, from all walks of life, who make Walsall great. This category will recognise the work of projects which support women to make change in their community through providing education, advocacy, friendship and a wider array of services.
Walsall is full of people who work tirelessly for their community, making a lasting positive contribution to our city. Individuals recognised in this category inspire others by their acts of public service which are matched by their attitude and value, exemplifying Walsall as a welcoming place for people of all cultures, faiths and beliefs.