Work carried out by churches and faith groups in Northants is worth £15million according to a new report.
The report, which was put together by the Cinnamon Network and the Cinnamon Faith Action Audit for Northants, was launched at an event in Kings Park, in Northampton.
It claims the time given by churches and other faith groups through social action projects is worth £15 million, helping tens of thousands of people across the county.
The audit was sponsored by the Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives.
Director, Helen Boardman said: “It was a privilege to have so many of the churches and faith groups who took part in this audit, members of the police, local agencies and dignitaries with us as we launched this exciting new report.
“Seeing how the work in Northamptonshire compares with other parts of the country should help us be more strategic and better able to identify social action projects that can support our ambition to make Northamptonshire the safest place in England.”
Keynote speaker at the launch Right Revd John Holbrook said: “Faith groups make a huge contribution to Northamptonshire, particularly in improving the lives of our most vulnerable neighbours.
“This remarkable piece of research reveals the scale and variety of this work which involves over 10,000 volunteers.”
The report also says that nationally, time given by UK faith groups to their communities is worth £3 billion a year, supporting 48 million people.
It also claims to disprove the stereotype of churches and faith groups predominantly working with women and children.
It said that paid staff and volunteers were actively working with people from all ages and with men and women in almost equal measure.
The report is believed to be the most detailed and comprehensive report of its kind to date.
The Cinnamon Network started in 2010 in response to public sector reform and economic cuts. To find out more, visit www.cinnamonnetwork.co.uk.