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About Faithworks

About Faithworks2024-04-17T15:36:15+01:00

Our big audacious goal is to…

see an end to homelessness of all sorts, an end to food poverty, an end to loneliness.

And specifically we want every single person locally to be within 15 minutes of a place of welcome that radiates life, community, and immediate help – so that no one need battle hard times on their own.

Listen, Give Hope, Act & Inspire

We are Faithworks

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We are a local Christian charity that works alongside people when life is hard, practically building hope and resilience to deal with times ahead.
We run practical projects around food, finance, homelessness, and lone parenting across Dorset. And we seek to do these in venues where there is a range of help immediately on hand, where we can Listen to your story, Give Hope immediately, Act on what you say, and Inspire to see a way forward. We love it when people stand up and say “I can do this now!”

Our Values

How do we live these out?

How Are We Welcoming?2024-01-10T17:28:04+00:00
  • We believe that every person has value & worth, so we respect everyone whatever their life or faith journey
  • We will make you feel safe & secure in a time of crisis
  • We are committed to the people we work with – we care
  • We are empathetic, we understand it is sometimes hard to ask for help
  • We are approachable and will listen to you – our goal is to find out what an individual wants rather than assuming we know
  • We will seek to be hope-filled in the way that we work, believing the best in people and partners

Psalm chapter 139: verse 14: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well”

How Are We Alongside?2024-01-10T12:48:57+00:00
  • We are your companion and we will be there alongside you
  • We work with you, at your pace
  • We will always seek to act with integrity in all our dealings, to show humility, to learn
  • We have perseverance; we are persistent in our work for you
  • We believe in second (and third…) chances
  • We connect with other partners where we don’t have the skills – we love collaborating

Matthew chapter 22, verses 36-40: “Love the Lord your God with… [everything], love your neighbour as yourself”

How Are We Trusted?2024-01-10T12:49:22+00:00
  • We believe in grace and transparency – this gives us authenticity
  • We are genuine, real, humble, dependable, and reliable
  • Our faith and values always lead us to seek to bring holistic support
  • We will “always be prepared to give a reason for the hope that is within us, but do it with gentleness and respect
  • We are resilient and help people bounce back from adversity.

1 Corinthians chapter 13, verse 2: “…if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing”

How Are We Practical?2024-01-10T12:49:46+00:00
  • We are adaptable, seeking to learn new skills and behaviours in response to changing circumstances
  • We are flexible – we err on the side of generosity
  • We are resourceful and help people gain practical skills for life
  • We see opportunity – we think ahead to find the right solution
  • We seek to model transformational solutions that change from the bottom up
  • We are practical.

Matthew chapter 25, verse 35: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in”.

How Are We Empowering?2024-01-10T12:49:54+00:00
  • We always seek to give hope – we genuinely desire success for every person that we meet
  • We will listen to those who have lived experience of crisis to help us develop our work
  • We help people make healthy choices to build resilience for themselves
  • We always encourage and energise people to help themselves
  • We will help people to develop aspirations, and then start the journey towards them.

John chapter 10, verse 10: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”

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Meet the team and trustees

The backbone of all that we do is a fantastic team of volunteers, staff and trustees. There are over 350 volunteers doing everything from keeping food bank shelves stocked, delivering furniture to offering debt advice with those escaping crisis – you would be so welcome to join the team; we have a wide range of roles, so go over to Get Involved to find out more.

Meanwhile, say hello to our trustees and staff team members…

Meet the team
RAG Diagram

Our process (RAG)

We recognise that everyone’s journey is different when times are hard. We think of it like a set of traffic lights:

  • Going from a life that has come to a stop (“red”) where there is a need for immediate help with essentials like food, debt advice and shelter.
  • To starting to move forward (“amber”) with our team members alongside, connecting with a range of support, gaining confidence within a community.
  • And then re-imagining and finding new purpose, resilience and hope (“green”) which might be through doing skills for life courses, or taking on training or employment again.

To achieve this, we collaborate with a whole range of partners – councils, other charities and especially local churches – preferably in shared venues where people are on hand to offer help immediately.


At Faithworks, we work with a whole range of people including children and vulnerable adults. No matter who they are, we want to make sure that everyone is as safe as they can be.

We put effort into making sure that our safeguarding processes are strong and that includes things like having clear policies on lone-working and confidentiality. All front-line staff are DBS-checked and have regular safeguarding updates and every volunteer has an initial training session (and refresher training) covering the core aspects of safeguarding. We have a trustee sub-group to review all safeguarding issues and use the Charity Commission’s “10 Actions Trustee Boards Need to Take to Ensure Good Safeguarding Governance” as our guideline.

Safeguarding Policy


& Complaints Policy 2023


Read our Impact Report 2023


Annual Accounts
2021 -2022


Our top queries

Do you come from any particular denomination?2023-07-18T10:31:39+01:00

No, we are independent of any Christian denomination. We are members of the UK Evangelical Alliance and our CEO attends many of the local Churches Together groups.

Do you only work with Christians?2023-07-18T10:32:13+01:00

No, our goal is to provide our services for anyone who is in need. And we are delighted to have volunteers on board of any faith or none.

What legal status does Faithworks have?2023-07-18T10:33:16+01:00

Faithworks is a charitable company limited by guarantee; so we are a charity registered with both the Charity Commission (charity no 1108714), and a company with Companies House (company no 5077777).

Are you part of a national organisation?2023-07-18T10:34:29+01:00

No, we were originally inspired by the Faithworks Charter put out by Oasis Charitable Trust that encouraged local churches to make a difference in their community. But the charity that was set up here was, and is, independent.

What geographical area do you cover?2023-07-18T10:35:20+01:00

We work in the Bournemouth-Christchurch-Poole (BCP) conurbation, and also support the Food Bank Plus operations in Wimborne and Blandford.

Our history

In 1999 a small group of church elders at Parkstone United Reformed Church decided to use a legacy they had been given to fund a half time chaplaincy service with Poole local authority. An Anglican Minister Jonathan Martin was appointed halftime chaplain to the local authority, with the support of the whole council, and halftime minister of the church in 2001. In 2002 there was an Open Day for chaplaincy so that anyone could pop in and suggest initiatives that chaplaincy might embrace. Amongst many ideas, Jeff Russell ( Senior Social worker in Adult Social services) identified loneliness as an issue that people of faith were well placed to respond to.

The chaplain welcomed these and many other opportunities, and the wider Council came up with resources to second Jeff Russell to work with chaplaincy for a couple of days a week. Together Jeff and Jonathan took the national Faithworks initiative and model, adapted it for Poole, and launched Faithworks Poole as an independent charity at St James Church, Poole, in March 2004.

Jeff was the first CEO, and Jonathan the initial chair. Faithworks emphasis was to support the local church to serve the local community, and provide support and resourcing for such initiatives which were likely to be beyond the reach of a local church (e.g. research, networking, payroll and administrative support). Initial projects included working to relieve isolation in older people. In 2008, as the work grew, it became Faithworks Wessex.

Over the years, new projects were added, all of which were about equipping and enabling churches to serve the marginalised in their communities: Poole Foodbank in 2006, homelessness work of various flavours, work with older people and carers (now passed to Prama), SMILE connect (Lone parent community) launched in 2009, three other foodbanks in 2012, and Recovery work in 2016.

Faithworks Food Poverty Appeal

Urgent Appeal

Join our food poverty appeal campaign today. We want to see an end to all types of food poverty in the UK.

No one person should suffer the anxiety of food poverty. For just £5 a month you can support a family.

I want to support Faithworks today

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