From today, at the start of a new year and a new chapter of Community Action Suffolk’s busy operations, we’re declaring a subtle change in the labelling of our sector (by us, at least).
To many, the arena of our work has been captured by the term VCSE (Voluntary, Community, Social Enterprise).
Moving into 2023, we have elected to make an addition we feel has been invisible for too long.
Today, we shall begin referring also to FAITH, and using the term VCFSE.
As many of you will have seen up close in recent years, the importance of faith at the heart of our community was highlighted ever more so during Covid.
Venues, groups and organisations of faith focus, become so critical and relevant at a time when communities felt at risk of being disconnected and distant.
But this is not new, just perhaps more visible – Faith has always helped to conceive ideas, put thought into action, create connection, and deliver compassion in abundance. They have long been a key contributor to effective social action and thoroughly deserve due recognition.
And even before, and aside from, Covid, many faith leaders and organisations have told us that they have too often felt less able to get their seat at the sector table, or to access the kind of funding streams or opportunities which would be vital to their existence.
They’ve found themselves having to play down their own story and ethos or work harder than others to establish partnerships with local authorities, government bodies and the like.
This is something which absolutely has to be improved.
It is in the interest of every household, individual, cause and organisation, that faith is very much part of our thinking when we discuss our all-encompassing sector.
At Community Action Suffolk, we know that many of you will have your own views, and we would welcome hearing them.
Please do email [email protected]