GOD’S VINEYARD MINISTRIES INVOLVEMENT IN NOTTINGHAM CITIZENS
In our quest as a Ministry to fulfil our mission of ‘Empowering Lives and Building Society’ God’s Vineyard Ministries has joined up with many other organisations, churches, and people of other faiths to bring diverse communities together for the common good. This is to help mend the divisions in our society and in politics. Through GVM’s role in Nottingham Citizens, new and interesting relationships have been built with various communities within the city.
GVM has over the years played various leading roles in Nottingham Citizens; having had a representative on the leadership team for a couple of years. A letter recently received from the National Director of Citizens UK, sums up the important role GVM has played: “Your hard work and support are what powers the Citizens movement and your membership dues are what keep us independent and sustainable”.
Underpinning the various campaigns for justice that Nottingham Citizens have undertaken; the organisation also exist to develop leaders, strengthen institutions, and to reweave the fabric of society. In this regard, a number of members and leaders from GVM have undertaken two-day and 6-day training sessions in community organising and social justice.
The expertise gained have enabled us to engage in strategy teams, participated in public actions, negotiated with decision-makers, researched issues affecting local people and won change in the areas of hate crime, homelessness, clean air and modern slavery.
In 2018, GVM contributed in no small way to secure outstanding successes in our community, among which include…
- Nottingham City Council committed to become the first local authority in the country to become a ‘Clean Sheet Employer’, offering employment opportunities to ex-offenders, offering hope of self-sufficiency and the ability to remain in accommodation after release. The Council also significantly improved their engagement with the voluntary sector around homelessness following our work, leading to better outcomes.
- The Police Crime Commissioner committed to seed fund a new Independent Forum to tackle hate crime in the County. Our Hate Crime team received national recognition for their work, as Nottingham Citizens were awarded the ‘Upstanding Organisation’ award at the national No2H8 Crime awards in London.
- Our Schools Hate Crime report was launched in Parliament and responded to by Theresa May in PMQ’s, securing a meeting with the Home Secretary. Our young people are invited to present their work to Ofsted later this Spring.
In 2019, following several conversations, three new areas of significant justice work for Nottingham Citizens have been embarked on, including Mental Health, Issues affecting Young People and Work and Wages. GVM has been serving on the Mental Health team that has succeeded in securing commitment from the NHS to train people from various organisations to understand how to properly address issues of mental health in our institutions.
It is our commitment as a Ministry to champion causes that fulfil our mission to ‘Empower Lives and Build Society’.