At 10:30 am on Wednesday 25th September, the SFI team walked into the National Gurdwara Conference 2019. As we go around the room speaking to Sikh’s that have travelled all over the country to be here they tell us how they haven’t heard of anything like this before. Within 15 minutes of the first talk, the need for this event and more like it becomes evident.
All faith institutions, not just Gurdwaras, need to know about the benefits of becoming a charity, how to become a charity, how to deal with legal proceedings and manage any conflict among Trustees. As the morning speakers run through the different charity structures, admiration goes to the Charity Commission team who simplified the whole process, educating everyone in the room on how they can help make Gurdwaras better by registering them as charities. Advantages such as Gift Aid were rightly highlighted as huge incentives to register for charity status.
However, the event was not just governance based. A speaker after lunch offered an academic perspective on Gurdwaras in the UK. Importantly, he highlighted the strengths of Gurdwaras (of which there are many). However, he also recognised their weaknesses and ways to improve. And… this is where our very own Rabbi Natan Levy and SFI came in. We offer safeguarding, health and safety, security training.
The number of Gurdwaras that were unaware of where to acquire DBS checks or get quality training for their trustees was staggering. In reality, all you need to do is get in touch will one of SFI’s Regional Coordinators. Natan finished off proceeding with an excellent talk on security followed by a review of all the training that SFI offers. All Faith Institutions can benefit. All Faith Institutions are welcome. Click here to find out more about the training/ workshops we offer.
A brief note on security -whilst faith institutions, in their nature, like to remain open, to remain safe we advise faith institutions to close their doors whilst praying. This is to keep intruders outside. If you would like more information on improving the security of your faith institution, click here to read the Government’s ‘Crowded Places Guide’ or contact SFI on firstname.lastname@example.org for bespoke security training.
Nonetheless, it must be said, the event was a huge success with an impressive attendance. A big thank you to all the speakers: The Charity Commission, Dr Gurnam Singh, Navinder Singh Grover, Rabbi Natan Levy, Daljit Singh, Gurdeep Singh, Mandip Singh and Gurdwara Aid and CCLA for putting on the event.
We look forward to attending the National Gurdwara Conference 2020!