Though we are an independent charity, our Quaker roots stretch back over 150 years, and Quaker values continue to help guide us to deliver services with compassion and dignity:
- Equality and justice: our innovative projects promote the social justice of individuals facing the material, social and emotional toll of poverty.
- Truth and integrity: we speak truth to power when we know our unique knowledge and insights can have a wider impact to create positive systemic change.
- Simplicity and sustainability: we always seek to build simple, practical and innovative projects, whilst taking care of the environmental impact we leave behind.
We are people-led, bringing a holistic approach to our projects and respecting that people in poverty are the real poverty experts. We’re embedded in and respond to the changing needs of the community with pioneering new projects, such as the UK’s first supported housing project for young carers.
Quakers and QSA today
We are an independent charity and our services are open to all. Our staff, volunteers and trustee board includes Quakers, but also reflects the diversity of our society today. Whatever our individual background, we are united by Quaker values to carry out our work with compassion and respect.
We are proud to be the charity of choice for Quaker meetings across the country who value our reflective approach to work that is simple and effective. In our most recent survey of over 200 Quaker supporters one donor explained why they entrusted their donations to Quaker Social Action:
"BECAUSE YOU ARE A SMALL OUTFIT, THOROUGHLY ACCOUNTABLE, FEET ON THE GROUND, YET BRILLIANTLY INNOVATIVE."
Quakers in history
QSA, which itself has been operating for over 150 years, is proud to be part of a much longer and broader Quaker tradition of positive social action and campaigning. However we recognise that the history of Quakers in the world is far from being unblemished. For example, on the crucial subject of slavery there is a mixed picture: a subject guide on Quakers and Abolition by The Library of the Society of Friends notes that "There was no unified stance on slavery and the slave trade among early Quakers. Many were slaveholders, while others spoke out vehemently against the trade."
Just as we recognise that there are structural causes of poverty within British society today, including racial discrimination, we must also be clear that grotesque historical injustices such as slavery have contributed to the wealth and privilege that has accrued to British society, including to Quakers. In claiming our Quaker heritage, we must acknowledge bad aspects as well as good.