A call to action
Taken from the Social Inclusion Process Green paper , the The Rt Revd David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham makes the following “call to action” to everyone in the city to join together to build a more inclusive and cohesive city.
“When I was asked to lead the social inclusion process, Giving Hope Changing Lives I did not hesitate to take up the challenge. In this time of unprecedented global economic and social uncertainty, it is vitally important that we work together across the city to shape the future wellbeing of the people of Birmingham.
As the largest UK city outside London, with one of the most diverse and youthful populations anywhere, Birmingham has the natural talent and global potential to be the very best setting for 21st century urban life.
Achieving the best quality of life is important for everyone, but in order to do this people need to be able to participate fully in society and the economy. The high level of disadvantage that persists across Birmingham is extremely distressing and could become worse in the current climate. Inequality and social exclusion is something that we should not easily accept in a rich country and a city like ours. Our aim is to bridge the gap between the disadvantaged and the powerful, so that more people can participate in the economic and social opportunities at work, home and play.
Evidence from the Birmingham Social Inclusion Process so far, shows that the challenges in achieving this are most demanding. Our Key Lines of Enquiry, whether in households, streets or communities, in institutions, organisations or enterprises, reveal a new expectation that a more cohesive city is the responsibility of all and is in the interests of all.
This task moves beyond what the City Council, or national government can do, not least when budgets are being reduced drastically. It will require the combined energy, resources and wisdom of everyone to address some of the fundamental economic and social issues we face and to protect those who are most vulnerable in our communities. I am extremely grateful for everybody’s contributions so far. The findings, commitments and recommendations from our engagement are set out in this Green Paper.
However, the Green Paper does not cover everything and this is not the end of the process. I am asking for your help and expertise to turn these ideas into action. I invite you to engage immediately with items in this paper that you can influence and also point out to us areas that are not yet covered.
I am aware that I am taking a leap of faith that we want to promote another’s fulfilment at the same time as our own. As we seek the welfare of the whole city, may we know that we are committed to Giving Hope and Changing Lives when, in our relations with our fellow human beings, distant respect moves to deep appreciation and mere tolerance becomes full participation.”
Now we want to hear from you.
- How can you help turn these ideas into action?
- Do the recommendations cover the right things?
- Is there anything significant that has been missed?
- Do you or your organisation have any examples of best practice related to any of the commitments or recommendations that you would like to share?
You can respond in a number of ways.
- Through our consultation portal www.fairbrum.podnosh.com
- On our blog: www.fairbrum.wordpress.com
- Write to:
Giving Hope Changing Lives
PO Box 16253
- By email:
Jackie Mould email@example.com
Or The Rt Revd David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham firstname.lastname@example.org
- Via Twitter @fairbrum or use #fairbrum
- Telephone the Partnership Team on 0121 675 3499