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 admin@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.

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.

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.

Annual conference

This November we’ll be holding our annual flagship conference once again. Belonging 2023: Shared Foundations will bring together people working on community relations and resilience from across the UK with some of the country’s leading thinkers and practitioners in social cohesion, community tension resolution and measurement and evaluation techniques. Above all it’s a fantastic opportunity to network, meet other Belong members and help us develop a collective voice on the need for cohesion in the UK. Belong Network members can claim up to two free places plus discounted rates on further tickets.

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