During the Olympic and Paralympic period (27 July-9 September 2012), the Faiths Forum for London is looking for twelve volunteers from at least four different religious groups to volunteer twenty hours in charities of faith communities different to their own, such as a Christian spending time in a Muslim charity, or vice versa. The idea is to break down stereotypes by activism in a new context, making contact and building bridges beyond the familiar. Twenty hours, from twelve people. In short, that’s 20:12 Hours Against Hate.

The Background: Triply Inspired
We are inspired by…the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Olympic Games are driven by the values of respect, excellence and friendship, whilst the Paralympic Games embody the values of courage, determination, inspiration and equality. We at the Faiths Forum for London wanted to put together a programme that showed how people of faith in London are emblematic of these principles and are delighted that this programme has been
awarded both the ‘Inspired by 2012’ and the ‘Olympic Truce’ marks. We are inspired by…2011 Hours Against Hate. In 2011, the US State Department launched an initiative called 2011 Hours Against Hate. The aim was to call on people to volunteer a total of 2011 hours in charities that catered for people of a different faith, race, sex or social class to themselves. In November 2011, the founders of the programme spoke at the Faith Forum for London’s Buncher Interfaith Conference, and said it would be great if in London’s Olympic year, people in this city could take on the baton. We have taken up that call. We are inspired by…the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. 2012 is not just about the Olympic and
Paralympic Games. Our country will celebrate 60 years of service by Her Majesty the Queen. Faith communities are responding by launching A Year of Service (please see www.ayearofservice.org.uk, a project encouraging multifaith social action, where people volunteer alongside others of different religions (or of none) at special times throughout the
year. 20:12 Hours Against Hate is the FFL’s contribution to this excellent initiative.

How to Get Involved
If you want to be on the twelve volunteers taking part, info@faithsforum4london.org with the subject 20:12 Hours Against Hate. In your email, please describe your faith background, the faith group/s you would most like to volunteer with and the sorts of skills you would like to use/develop. If there is a particular type of charity that you would like to volunteer with, please let us know that as well. We cannot guarantee that everybody who applies will get a place, but we will try to ensure that as many faiths as possible are represented in the project. Applications are open until Friday 18 May, but we will consider these on a rolling basis.