Restoring Social Confidence: Lessons from faith-led social action during the COVID-19 pandemic

Written by: Miguel Ferrer on Oct 12, 2021. Category: News

“Restoring Social Confidence: Lessons from faith-led social action during the COVID-19 pandemic” is a new exciting report produced by the think tank Common Vision from an analysis of Near Neighbours’ work with faith groups and community organisations during the Covid lockdown last year.

Near Neighbours commissioned this report not only to assess the response of their hubs during the pandemic, but also to understand the long term implications of their activities on the ground. Reading the report will give you an insight into the connections that Near Neighbours creates between people of different backgrounds and how they manage to upskill and empower local communities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the great importance of community connectivity and locally-led social action, not only in responding to sudden crises, but in sustaining this neighbourhood-level support over the long-term.

The report captures the sadly familiar stories of grief, hunger, isolation, exclusion and domestic violence, but also shines a light on the distinctive contribution of faith-based social action during this time.

The work of faith-based community groups has been a crucial part of frontline community responses to the COVID-19 crisis. Faith-based initiatives have helped maintain human dignity, connection, and hope in the face of vast and complex needs.

The concept of social confidence introduces a new framework through which to understand the true impact of the work carried out by Near Neighbours during the pandemic. Common Vision defines social confidence as the trust we have in ourselves, our community and institutions to look after our individual and collective wellbeing. These factors are underpinned by strong, trusted relationships with institutions and diversity within community life.

Ultimately, these insights provide a source of expertise and inspiration on how social confidence can be rebuilt and safeguarded in an uncertain future.

Dr Madeleine Pennington, Head of Research at THEOS Think Tank, has said that the report “is full of helpful examples as we process what the impact of the pandemic has been on the role of faith groups”.

You can read the full report here: