At Active Essex, we work closely with the wonderful people in our community to encourage and empower our residents to achieve their health and physical activity goals, whatever their background. We know that in diversity there is strength, which is why we are proud to be celebrating Inter Faith Week this week.
The values and intentions of Inter Faith Week are simple. Firstly, to strengthen good inter-faith relations in the community. To increase awareness of the different and distinct faith communities in the UK, in particular celebrating the contributions which their members make to their neighbourhoods and to wider society. And finally, to strengthen the bond between people of religious and non-religious beliefs.
We strive to work with some fantastic faith-based charities and organisations in Essex, Southend and Thurrock to ensure that everyone can take part and benefit from physical activity and sport. We have been active members of the Essex Faith Covenant since 2018 and our aim is to work together with faith groups to combat loneliness, isolation and disadvantage across the county’s communities.
Bringing together people and leaders of different faiths to help support each other through physical activity has helped to spread positivity and encouragement in communities that may otherwise feel barriers to taking part.
In the past 12 months at Active Essex, we have supported some fantastic collaborative faith-based projects. The Community Gym projects, with both Grays Gurdwara and the Chelmsford Muslim Society received equipment to create gym areas in their respective buildings. During the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the few places their members felt safe visiting was the Gurdwara and Mosque and so placing opportunities for members to get active whilst they were there supported an increase in physical activity. With qualified instructors overseeing the gym sessions, both projects estimate 120 people using the gym equipment per week.
As part of our Essex ActivAte programme, we worked with the Chelmsford Muslim Society and Essex Cultural Diversity Project to deliver a fun, memorable and active Summer Holiday Club for children across Chelmsford and Essex. Over the 5 weeks, the club was fully booked with approximately 80 children attending each day from diverse backgrounds. We are grateful for the fantastic partnership working to deliver this club and provide children with the opportunity to have hours of fun, discover new passions and find their own way to enjoy getting active.
We are also proud to work with the Chelmsford Hindu Society; Leigh Buddhist Centre; Colchester Islamic Community Centre and The Shepherdess based in Chelmsford, to support communities in getting active, benefiting both physically and mentally from accessing a range of clubs and physical activities.
We at Active Essex support people of all religions, ethnicities, and communities, and we hope that this Inter Faith Week will help to inspire and empower individuals from all walks of life, to fulfil their physical potential. If you are interested in taking part in activities in your community, check out our Find Your Active campaign on our website for more details.