Belonging 2022: General admission tickets now on sale!

We are excited to announce details of Belong – The Cohesion and Integration Network’s annual conference: Belonging 2022: Leading on Social Cohesion



Booking is now open for both Belong Network Members and non-members – we hope to see you there! 

Book your tickets here – free in person tickets for Belong Network Standard, Advanced and Founder Members*. Tickets are likely to sell out quickly so we recommend booking early to avoid disappointment.

*Three free tickets per organisation for Founder members; Two free tickets per organisation for Advanced members; One free ticket per organisation for Standard Members. Thereafter charges apply. 

Confirmed speakers and panellists: 

Dame Sara Khan, Independent Adviser for Social Cohesion and Resilience to Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

Lord Steve Bassam, Place Director, Business in the Community

Prof Ted Cantle CBE, Chair of Trustees, Belong – The Cohesion and Integration Network 

Cllr Joanna Midgley, Deputy Leader, Manchester City Council

Rogers Govender, Dean of Manchester, Manchester Cathedral


Shalni Arora, Belong Network Trustee & CEO, Savannah Wisdom Foundation

Angela Harrington, Director of Inclusive Economy, Manchester City Council


Viveen Taylor, Director for Equality Diversity & Inclusion, Sport England

Dr Allison Smith, Head of Strategy and Development, Royal Voluntary Service

Jill Rutter, Associate Fellow, British Future

Julie Jones, Director, Gower Gas and Oil

Julie Robbins, Head of Inclusion and Diversity, Youth Sport Trust

Mark Lawrie, Chief Executive, StreetGames 

Paul Reddish, Chief Executive, Volunteering Matters

Richard Harries, Associate Director, Institute for Community Studies

Ruth Hollis, Chief Executive, Spirit of 2012

Shaheen Bi, Director of Projects, Sporting Equals

Tim Robertson, CEO, Anne Frank Trust

Kaneez Khan MBE, West Yorkshire Co-ordinator, Near Neighbours

Samiyah Butt, Prevent and Community Cohesion Coordinator, Manchester City Council


Click here to view the full schedule.


What’s happening?

Taking place at Friends Meeting House, central Manchester on Friday 16 September, Belonging 2022 offers a chance to hear from practitioners, thinkers, leaders and experts from across different sectors on tried and tested approaches for fostering greater trust, social connectedness, belonging and cohesion. It’s also an opportunity to develop a collective voice: calling on policymakers to recognise the importance of community resilience, building connections and bridging divides amid increasing polarisation and inequality.

Two plenary sessions each with a keynote speaker, panel discussion and audience Q&A: 

Morning: Resilience, Connection and Trust – the value of social cohesion

The UK continues to experience a succession of events that are having a profound impact on communities, and on our societal relationships. Events such as Brexit, the pandemic and the current cost of living crisis can exacerbate existing divisions in British society and create new ones, or alternatively galvanise people to come together. Often they do both.

Afternoon: Looking Forward Together

How can we build a story of a socially cohesive UK where places and communities retain a strong identity whilst recognising our interdependence across regions, nations, and between different groups and communities? How can we facilitate less polarising debate and more positive contact to help communities find common ground? Where do we have cause for optimism and on what issues do we have more in common?

Break-out sessions covering: 

  • Local Government approaches to building cohesion
  • Measurement and evaluation techniques for assessing cohesion approaches
  • Bringing people together through sport
  • Tackling hate crime
  • Volunteering and its role in building social connection
  • The role of the business sector in fostering social cohesion

Advocacy discussion to build a collective voice on social cohesion to target policy makers 

We are also looking for Belong Network members who would like to display a poster on a cohesion project or piece of research during our lunchtime networking session – for more information please email conference organiser Amy Glendinning.

We’ll be unveiling an exciting line-up of speakers and panellists very soon.

Who’s invited? 

Everyone! Belonging 2022 is open to both Belong Network members and non-members – anyone with an interest in social cohesion and fostering connection and community resilience across charity, academic, private, public and civil sectors will find it of interest.

Is it online?

Yes it will be possible to watch online – but you will only have access to the morning and afternoon plenary sessions. If you’re unable to attend in person but would like to watch over Zoom please select an online ticket from our Eventbrite page.

How do I book?

Click here! We are pleased to offer three free tickets per organisation for Founder Belong Network members, two free for Advanced members and one free ticket per organisation for Standard Belong Network members. Charges apply thereafter and for all non-members. Booking is open now for Belong Network members and from July 21 for non-members. Panellists and speakers do not need to register for a ticket.

Please select the ticket which best describes your organisation or employer – contact if you are unsure. And please don’t forget to share this event with anyone else you think may be interested!

We look forward to seeing you on September 16.