Radical Kindness

Celebrating acts of kindness across difference

Acts of ‘radical kindness’ inspired by the Covid-19 crisis will be showcased in a new project by Belong – The Cohesion and Integration Network.

Social mixing is one of the most powerful ways of reducing prejudice and promoting empathy between different groups of people. During the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, opportunities for social mixing have been severely restricted, as we were told to stay at home and physically distance from our friends, families, and communities.

Funded by Spirit of 2012, the Radical Kindness project will highlight work that actively and intentionally seeks to build bridges across differences, develop shared ground, and promote social connection between different groups and communities.

At the heart of Radical Kindness is the need for creative and inspiring reminders of the power of social connection, particularly across difference, as we begin to emerge from lockdown.

Radical Kindness will draw on findings from Beyond Us and Them, a nationwide research project funded by the Nuffield Foundation and conducted by Belong in collaboration with the University of Kent, that looks at the impact of Covid-19 on social cohesion.

Over nine months, we will share examples of radical kindness featuring inspiring individuals and organisations via a series of podcasts, videos, webinars and case studies. We will also be developing a set of principles for embedding the approach in day-to-day life.

The project is aimed at inspiring both individuals looking to connect with others in the community and policy makers and other practitioners working in the social cohesion field.

Jo Broadwood, CEO of Belong, said: “We believe radical kindness is key to building trust and cohesion between groups, particularly as we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis.

“In our eyes, this is work that moves beyond random acts of kindness, or relational kindness, which often remains within one’s own social group or network. Radical kindness holds the potential to be transformational, bringing people together across difference and celebrating a sense of belonging and wider social connections.”

Radical Kindness will raise the profile of projects and initiatives that break down barriers and create sustainable connections through kindness.

Follow the project on Twitter at @BelongNetwork or search #RadicalKindness.

Latest on the project

Research partners

We are grateful for the support of Spirit of 2012. Spirit of 2012 is the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games legacy funder. The National Lottery Community Fund founded Spirit in 2013 with a £47million endowment to continue and recreate the spirit of pride, positivity and community that inspired people across the UK during the London 2012 Games.

Spirit of 2012 builds sustainable social legacies from the inspiration of events, investing to improve how people feel about themselves, other people and their communities. Spirit of 2012 awards grants for community-based arts, sports and volunteering activities that bring people together to improve their wellbeing. 

For more information visit www.spiritof2012.org.uk.