Local Government Membership

Local Government Membership

Local Government Membership

By becoming a member of Belong, local government staff tap into a wealth of expertise, resources and opportunities build their professional networks and create stronger communities. Here’s how we can help:

Community tensions – particularly around accommodation for people seeking asylum – are a major source of concern for many in local government. Global events can also affect diaspora communities leading to tensions and unrest. And many communities live parallel lives, with transport, education and employment preventing integration and exacerbating inequality and division. Local authorities are at the frontline of all these challenges.

Belong – the Cohesion and Integration Network provides expert training, consultancy and resources to equip local government staff members and their partner agencies to understand, manage and resolve community tensions and build connections across different communities.

Interested? To find out more, contact hello@belongnetwork.co.uk

Shared Ground – a community of practice for those working to avert or manage community tensions combines peer learning and support, with elements of a training programme providing accredited CPD points.

Shared Ground will be of value to any local authority that could benefit from support and skills development around managing community tensions and the changing nature of their communities.

It will consist of six sessions over the course of a year with ongoing support and peer contact between sessions. Belong Network members can claim up two FREE places – and 33% discount on further places. Find out more here.

Our partnership with Belong has helped Manchester to connect with and learn from others whilst at the same time enabled us to better understand and connect with eachother across the city. The ongoing dialogue and forums to discuss complex and live issues and the access to resources including training for practitioners and elected members have helped us to shape our first social cohesions strategy in Manchester. We really value their knowledge, expertise, and support.

Councillor Joanna Midgley Deputy Leader, Manchester City Council

Tried and tested techniques

Our best practice paper, Addressing community tensions; Developing shared ground, was developed by Belong through conversation with local government members and offers practical advice and tips on building connections with partner agencies, giving people the skills to hold difficult conversations and resolve tensions before they escalate. Access it free, here.

Connecting with others facing similar challenges

The Belong Local Government Network, a group of local and regional authorities with a focus on social cohesion, come together to support best practice and share ideas and insight. It’s a fantastic opportunity to meet and network with others doing similar work around the country, a chance to share challenges you are facing in a supportive environment and hear from others on ‘what works’. The Network meets four times a year with at least one in person event. Belong Network members can join for free.

Expertise to guide you

All Belong members can claim a 20% discount on consultancy and facilitation services from Belong’s highly experienced team of associates. This could be providing bespoke staff training, helping to devise and implement a social cohesion project or evaluating work to reduce social tensions. Join Belong as an ‘Advanced’ member and you’ll receive your first three hours of consultancy for free.

Belong Network’s evaluators worked with our team in productive ways to ensure that all the lessons that could be learnt from the Bradford for Everyone programme were incorporated into all of our individual project evaluations and final report. With 23 core projects, two campaigns, and 60 smaller projects, the evaluation did justice to the complexity of the approach adopted and captured both heart, depth, and clear recommendations for policy makers, politicians and other local authorities, and will be utilised as a foundation for our continued work in this area providing direct and wider benefits to the Bradford District.

Zahra Niaza Strategic Quality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead at Bradford Metropolitan District Council

Bonds through volunteering, sport and business

We have a wealth of tools and resources on how volunteering, sport, and business can be used to build cohesive communities.

Promoting your work

Joining Belong also offers:

  • Opportunities to feed into consultations on future research projects like Beyond Us and Them and local or national government policy work
  • The chance to share your work in Belong’s monthly newsletter, events programme, and research or best practice publications
  • A place in the Belong directory with a dedicated page profiling your work, linking to your resources and stories, and two logins providing access to the Belong members area

Interested? To find out more, contact admin@belongnetwork.co.uk

Why Join

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Shared Ground

Networking, peer support and professional development for local government staff and partners working to monitor and resolve community tensions.

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Communities of Practice

Communities of practice for or those working on social cohesion policy and practice at a local government level.

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Bespoke Training and Consultancy

Bespoke training and consultancy to support local government in developing, implementing and evaluating social cohesion strategy and practice.

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Professional Networks

Build professional networks with others in local government around the UK who are working on social cohesion challenges.

Membership Benefits What’s Included
Belong Network Newsletter Info, opinion, and opportunities across the sector
Promote your work through our newsletter, website, and social channels
Events Including annual national conference, webinars, and roundtable events One Place Included Plus 50% discount on further places.
Communities of Practice Build expertise and professional networks Two Places Included Plus 50% discount on further places.
Training Courses Included CPD accredited courses One Place Included Plus 50% discount on further places.
Resources Briefings and training materials via online Members Area
Policy and Influencing Participation in advisory groups and panels
Research Participation in Belong research projects
Consultancy Free hours per year plus further support at discounted rate
Bespoke Training Packages for your organisation Provided at discounted members rate

Contact Form

For all other membership enquiries, you can either reach out to us via email at hello@belongnetwork.co.uk, or using the contact form.