Walsall for All continues partnership work with The Faith and Belief Forum
The Faith and Belief Forum are working with Walsall for All to deliver the Walsall Community Dialogue Project and the Walsall Community Recognition Awards.
Walsall Community Dialogue Project
The Walsall Community Dialogue Project has been running since January 2020. Despite a pause due to the national lockdown in March, the project has now resumed. With restrictions still in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital participants and facilitators remain safe. The project enables the use of virtual, safe spaces for people to come together and engage in conversations about the things that are important to them.
The project’s aims remain the same: to capture the voices, stories and experiences of those living in Walsall around the themes of identity, diversity, belonging and living together. The project enables new people to create connections with each other.
The Faith and Belief Forum have been training local people in Walsall to become Community Connectors to support the delivery of the project. Community Connectors have already met via video call to develop facilitation and community dialogue skills and the confidence to Community Connectors supporting the delivery of the deliver sessions within their community.
Their first session focused on ‘How Are You’, created a safe space to share the challenges and opportunities that people have faced since the start of the pandemic.
A community dialogue session recently took place with Midland Mencap and members of the Walsall Disability Hub. The group shared stories about how the last six months had been for them, including their struggles and successes. A shared sense of excitement about getting to connect online with people meant spirits were high as new hobbies were shared. A particular appreciation was also shown for the wellness walks by the Hub, as participants were able to get active outside and catch up with each other properly.
Walsall for All and The Faith and Belief Forum look forward to extending these conversations to our local community groups throughout Walsall.
If you would like to get involved in the open dialogues sessions in the New Year, click here to sign up.
Walsall Community Recognition Awards
The Walsall Community Recognition Awards are a chance to recognise and celebrate the vital work of local communities in making Walsall a welcoming place for people of all faiths, beliefs and cultures.
Like the Community Dialogue Project, the awards were also put on hold in March in the hope of being able to bring winners together to celebrate later in the year. Sadly, due to further restrictions, this will not be possible in a physical way.
The award categories are:
Improving Access to Services
Health and Wellbeing
Walsall for All and The Faith and Belief Forum feel it is important to shine a light on the inspirational work of the award winners across social media and our website. Virtual community conversations have been taking place, where award winners have had the opportunity to meet with others from their award category to network and share stories about the impact of COVID-19 on their sectors, organisations and communities.
Technology, telephones, volunteers and mental health were common themes during these conversations, as well as challenges and opportunities which the past few months have presented. One of those Community Conversations was on the Promoting Inclusion award category, where winners cited financial concerns and volunteer numbers, with many self-isolating, as key challenges. The need to re-invent the way services were delivered had presented many with opportunities to reach new audiences. There was a shared feeling that additional support was required for publicity to raise awareness of their services and to let people know that they are still up and running.
To find out more about the awards, please visit www.walsallforall.co.uk/community-recognition-awards