Research and Resources

Home to our research projects, resources, and the Belong Library.

Research and Resources

Home to our research projects, resources, and the Belong Library.

By creating high quality research and identifying and sharing best practice we can support our members and build the evidence base for why social cohesion matters. Belong is a champion of change with an ethos of self-help, sharing of knowledge and expertise and helping to build the capacity of others.

Belong has excellent research and evaluation connections across government and civil society and has substantial expertise in engaged research and high-quality evaluation of both large and small programmes. This includes:

  • Maintaining regular communication with DLUHC and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to inform and support on challenges to social cohesion.
  • Working closely with DCMS on the dissemination of the Power of Connection toolkit
  • Substantial contributions to Dame Sara Khan’s Review of Social Cohesion and Community Resilience (due to be published in Spring 2024) providing subject expertise on framing the call for evidence and contributing via research on social cohesion measurement frameworks (in partnership with University of Kent).
  • Belong’s Beyond Us and Them research findings, developed in partnership with the University of Kent, which were regularly shared with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), and with GO-Science and SAGE during the pandemic.

Spirit of 2012 was delighted to get involved in the Beyond Us and Them research and fund the Radical Kindness research that built on its findings. Beyond Us and Them has demonstrated that a relatively small investment in social integration programmes, and the designation of Integration Action Areas, made a real difference to the quality of social interactions, levels of volunteering and resilience in the response to COVID-19. The Radical Kindness research shows how small acts of radical kindness – making connection across divides – can make a huge impact in communities.

Ruth Hollis Spirit of 2012

Our Research

The Power of Connection Through Volunteering

The Power of Connection through Volunteering is a partnership project exploring how volunteering can best strengthen social cohesion at a local level.

Business and Cohesion

Belong has been undertaking research with the Intercultural Cities network (ICC) to explore how businesses can play a greater role in supporting cohesive communities and helping to build places with a strong sense of togetherness and belonging.

Beyond Us and Them

Belong is pleased to be working in partnership with the University of Kent’s Centre for the Study of Group Processes on this research project funded by the Nuffield Foundation.

Radical Kindness

‘Radical Kindness’ is a project funded by Spirit of 2012 celebrating acts of radical kindness and drawing on findings from ‘Beyond Us and Them’, our nationwide research project funded by the Nuffield Foundation and in collaboration with the University of Kent exploring the impact of Covid-19 on social cohesion.

The Belong Network Library

The Belong Library is free to access and brings together a wide range of online resources produced by the public, private and civil society sectors to build the evidence base around social cohesion.