Thousands in Norwich are helped by faith groups

Cinnamon Faith Action Audit flyer

Cinnamon Faith Action Audit flyer - Credit: Archant

More than 85,000 people benefited from social work carried out by church groups in Norwich, figures from a new report show.

The Cinnamon Faith Action Audit found that 388 social action projects were carried out by 43 city-based faith groups during 2014.

Norwich Foodbank, which is run by a team of 180 volunteers, provided three-day food parcels for 9,474 people -– including 3,231 children – who were in need of help.

Hannah Worsley, project manager, said: 'Norwich Foodbank celebrates the fact that those with faith work alongside those without – both in a volunteering capacity and with those accessing our service – serving either because they want to put their faith into action or out of a simple desire to help local people in need.'

Last year, 215 paid staff and 3,921 volunteers from various faith groups put in 810,000 hours of work to help people across the city, the audit showed.

Using the Living Wage rate of £7.85 an hour, the report put the total financial value of the project at £6.7m.

Matt Bird, Cinnamon Network founder, said: 'The purpose of the audit was to provide evidence for both the social impact and the economic value of all that faith groups do in communities across the UK.

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'We hope that the evidence provided will inspire a greater confidence that faith and faith-based social action is a force for good in our society.'

Speaking at the launch of the report, city council leader Alan Waters said: 'The Cinnamon report on Norwich is a mirror reflection of what we at the city council aspire to do.'

Phil Thorne, local co-ordinator of the survey, said: 'The results celebrate the immense variety of work impacting groups of all ages and situations from all faiths and none and will increase the working relationships with our local authorities.'

Copies of the report are available at transformingnorwich@gmail.com

Have you launched a project to help the community? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684.