FaithAction: Loneliness and the power of relationships

Our FaithAction team—a network supporting faith-based and community organisations across the country, hosted by LifeLine Projects—have produced a lot of research around loneliness and isolation in the past year. With the current lockdown situation bringing this issue to the forefront, Jeremy, FaithAction's Policy and Programme Officer, explores some of the ways we can respond to the growing tide of loneliness. Imagine the classic ice-breaker scenario: if you had to leave your house immediately, and could only take one thing with you, what would it be? Emergency situations, whether real or imagined, have a way of bringing things into sharp focus.…

BD CAN: Support and befriending for Barking and Dagenham

BD CAN is a partnership between the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and BD Collective. LifeLine Projects are leading on delivering crucial services to residents of the Valence and Becontree wards, working with the support of LifeLine Church, Harmony Christian Centre, Bethel Christian Centre and Community Resources. As a locality, we have already helped over 100 households. Manisha, who is coordinating our work with BD CAN, gives us an update on the project. BD CAN provides a service to those who need support – this can be picking up medication, going shopping for food, charging electric keys, or just…

SW!TCH Minds: Engaging young people in new settings

Georgia, one of our Youth Workers, explains a bit about our SW!TCH Minds programme, supporting young people with their mental health. Usually, our team would be working with them both during and after schools; now, due to the lockdown, we've taken the opportunity to switch up our methods and reach out to them in new settings. If you had told me seven weeks ago that I'd be spending my afternoon walking around our local parks in the pouring rain, desperately trying to stand as far away from other people as I can, whilst still trying to engage with them... I…

What we’re doing: FaithAction

FaithAction is the national network of faith-based organisations, hosted by LifeLine Projects. The FaithAction team have been active in a number of ways responding to the current health crisis. As well as working alongside other LifeLine colleagues locally in Dagenham and East London, they have also advised councils in other areas of the country on how the changes to everyday life has a particular effect on faith-based organisations and on religious practices. In central government, there is a recognition that faith and community groups play a key role at times like this. Therefore, FaithAction have been meeting with officials and…

What we’re doing: SW!TCH

Our Youth and Outreach Development Workers have proved very agile in adapting their interactions with the most vulnerable students to suit the current crisis! One-to-one mentoring has gone online and we’ve worked closely with schools to ensure safeguarding of students. The students we work with are those who are on the edge of school exclusion, involvement with serious youth violence, or those who have poor mental health. While students are sometimes struggling to engage, one very positive outcome from the current situation has been forming connections with the whole family. Mentors have been able to talk with parents, which under…

What we’re doing: Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham

Healthwatch staff have been pivotal in LifeLine’s response via BD CAN – co-ordinating the vital provision of food and medicines to those who are shielding, vulnerable or self-isolating. The team have moved from the usual face-to-face public engagement work to focus on engagement through various online and remote platforms as well as providing vital local health information to residents by: Keeping the public updated with the latest advice, including access to healthcare services and medicines, via healthwatch.bd on FaceBook and @healthwatchbd on Twitter, and of course, our website. Sending out updates to our members. Answering phone calls from the public…

What we’re doing: BD CAN

As part of the BD CAN, a borough-wide initiative co-ordinated by the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and BD_Collective, we are helping the most vulnerable by connecting volunteer support with the people who need help. LifeLine Projects, along with other local charities and faith groups—LifeLine Church, Harmony Christian Centre, Bethel Christian Centre and Community Resources—have already helped over 44 of the most in-need local households with door-step drop-offs of food and care packages, medicines, top-up of electric keys, or simply a friendly phone call. We will continue to serve our community in this way throughout the crisis. We anticipate…

Support LifeLine with purchases at Co-op

We're pleased to have been selected to receive sponsorship through Co-op's Local Community Fund for the third year in a row. The fund allows Co-op members to nominate a local cause to receive a donation of 1% of what they spend on selected Co-op products and services. In 2019, the fund gave £17m to over 4,000 local causes. If you're a regular user of Co-op, we'd love it if you'd consider supporting LifeLine through the fund! Already a Co-op member? Just log into your Co-op account and you'll be able to choose your preferred cause. Not a Co-op member yet?…

FaithAction’s community english programme secures new government funding

We're excited to announce that FaithAction, our network of over 2,500 faith-based organisations in the UK, has once again secured funding from the Ministry of Housing, Community and Local Government to deliver the Creative English programme at 55 hubs across the country. Since 2013, over 10,000 learners have benefited from the Creative English approach to learning. After just 10 weeks, 100% of Creative English learners say that their confidence to speak increases, 78% become confident to use English in functional day-to-day situations, while 88% of learners who leave their home less than once a week at the start of the…

LifeLine Projects receives £147k from Young Londoners Fund

The Mayor of London created the £45m Young Londoners Fund in July 2018, to help children and young adults make the most of our amazing capital. The fund is supporting 72 community projects across the city, to help young people at risk of getting swept up in crime to fulfil their potential. LifeLine Community Projects is receiving £147,000 over three years. Our Standing TALL project (Thriving, Aspiring, Learning, Leading) will engage 540 young people at-risk of exclusion and involvement in criminal activity, and walk with and support them towards improved wellbeing, resilience and meaningful opportunities at school and in the…

SW!TCH Expeditions rated GOOD by Ofsted

We are delighted to announce that following our recent Ofsted inspection, SW!TCH Expeditions, a LifeLine Alternative Provision, has been rated GOOD by Ofsted. Director of Young People's Services, Nathan Singleton said, I have always believed that the best place for the vast majority of young people to learn is in mainstream school. Where that is not possible, young people need high quality alternative provision (AP) that urges them forward. I am pleased that Ofsted have recognised that SW!TCH Expeditions achieves this. Over the last year we have taken a decision to simply do what is right for the students. I understand how…