On 30th November, British Asian Christian Association will be awarded for their community work at the 4th London Faith & Belief Community Awards, hosted by the Faith & Belief Forum with the support of the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London’s Faith Council
The London Faith & Belief Community Awards – celebrating the role faith and belief communities have in creating a sense of belonging and togetherness for the capital’s diverse communities – will bring together hundreds of inspirational Londoners for a virtual ceremony on 30th November. During the event, guests will be addressed by Sir Kenneth Olisa, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for Greater London, a strong advocate of the benefit faith brings to society.
British Asian Christian Association is one of 40 projects being awarded. Their Meals for the Homeless Project provides meals for up to 40 people a day and help them continue their partnership with Westminster Drug Project who provide counselling services and rehabilitation services to their homeless clientele. Currently the group also works with the Barking Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust’s, Queens Hospital Hepatology Department in providing free AIDS, Hepatitis B & C and Syphilis tests for homeless people at their centre (click here). Representatives from a range of community groups will join F&BF and the Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London’s Faith Council to continue the discussion on the benefit of community centric, faith led projects.
Speaking of their award, Hannah Chowdhry, said:
“During the first COVID-19 lockdown BACA was thrust into a pivotal role in our borough of Redbridge serving over 65 homeless and financially hard-up people a day.
“Though we only started our meals for the homeless project in mid-Jan and our foodbank in mid-Feb, within weeks we had the 4th highest food acceptance rate in East London (174 collections) and still had the 6th best compliance rate (93.05%).
“Most days we had to collect food from up to 7 stores including Tesco, M&S, Waitrose and Asda.
“We were subscribed to Fareshare and Neighbourly and many days we still could not meet the food needs of struggling families and the homeless.
“Eventually we partnered with two local churches, an Islamic charity and a Sikh Gurdwara who heard of our work, as our reputation began to proceed itself.
“Local people began providing food, clothes and furniture as gifts for those in need.
“Our outdoor event on the car park of the Prince of Wales Pub became a hub for Covid-19 support and we even helped 21 homeless people gain temporary homes.
“Many other charities would have collapsed under pressure, but our longstanding reputation and position within the community meant help was always at hand.
“By the end of the lockdown we had collected the 44th highest weight collection in the country (3936kg) – a real lockdown success!”
F&BF director, Phil Champain speaking on the importance of the awards commented, “London’s faith and belief groups play a crucial and often overlooked role in supporting their communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has left many people in need of additional support, which means that the services these groups provide and their role in helping people stay connected has been even more important than before. The Faith & Belief Community Awards celebrate the vital contribution of these unsung heroes to this city and to our society”
F&BF’s sentiment is echoed by the Chair of Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Greater London’s Council on Faith, Dr David Dangoor DL, who added, “We are delighted to support the London Faith & Belief Community Awards. Over the last four years we have met with a such a large number of inspirational grassroots groups. They have made it their mission to increase wellbeing within their local community, helping individuals build a sense of belonging within London and build bridges across communities of all faiths and beliefs. The event is primarily about celebration and recognition but I hope that practically it will inspire more ideas and projects.”
Free tickets for the London Faith & Belief Community Awards virtual ceremony are available and can be booked here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZElf-urqzMoHdxlZkHptcbyf46yb-9QGhX5. We would be honored if you could join the event and celebrate the work of British Asian Christian Association
For media enquiries please contact:
Hannah Chowdhry by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 020 8500 1192
You can donate towards our daily foodbank (here)