Announcing the Belong Winter Training Programme

Belong would like to announce our winter training programme! Based on conversations with a wide group of stakeholders and members we are developing the following courses and programmes to start from January onwards.


Shared Ground – Pilot Programme

This programme will build the capacity, skills and confidence for practitioners and all those who work closely alongside residents and in neighbourhoods to work more effectively in situations where there is conflict and tensions. It will be interactive, practical and encourage you to develop and practice your skills. At the same time it will be firmly rooted in theoretical frameworks drawn from international peacebuilding and conflict transformation approaches and methodologies.

It will include the following elements:

-Conflict analysis tools; frameworks for understanding cohesion and integration, working constructively with change and conflict

-Practical, skills focused elements which support participants to develop their skills (including communication and dialogue skills) using examples drawn from recent situations

-Action steps so that participants can apply their learning and receive peer feedback and support

-The opportunity to join a community of practice convened by Belong

This course will be available to all our Manchester members with priority for places given to Standard and Advanced members. (Membership of Belong is free to all VCS organisations focused on cohesion and integration work who are based in Manchester up until the end of March 2020. We therefore encourage you to sign up for membership as soon as possible to guarantee a place.)

Following evaluation and review the course will be available across the country from May 2020 onwards. Further details, dates and course fees to be announced in early January.


Living Rooms – A series of linked webinars

How we all live together is becoming one of the defining challenges of the 21st century. In a world which can feel increasingly polarised and divided this rolling series of three linked one hour online seminars will explore a particular theme from a range of different perspectives. It will examine how local leaders and places have developed innovative, creative approaches to some of the key challenges they face to increasing integration and cohesion locally.

Aimed at those who are leading on programmes of work where integration and cohesion are key considerations these will be forums for peer learning and sharing good practice across different sectors and localities. A guest speaker will present on a particular aspect of their work, and this will be followed by a facilitated discussion with the audience. Chatham House rules will apply. Standard and Advanced Belong members can sign up for free as part of their membership package. There will be a small fee charged per series for Associates and non-members.


Living Room 1: Communication for Integration

The way we communicate with the range of different audiences in local places to support greater empathy between groups and tackle prejudice and other barriers to integration is a real challenge in this technological age. This webinar series will explore innovative ways organisations can address these challenges, from tailoring messages to different audiences, working with the local media, and dealing with hostility online. This first series of webinars will provide you with ideas and approaches that you can adapt and apply locally.

This seminar series will run in February – speakers, dates and sign up details will be announced in January.


Living Room 2: Integration through Education

School is the place where young people can develop social skills and meet friends which they often keep for life. However, ethnic and socio-economic segregation in schools is still prevalent in the UK  and as such can be a key integration challenge for schools and for local areas. What can we do to address this? We will hear from school leaders and those who work in partnership with schools on how they are tackling this issue

This seminar series will run in March – speakers, dates and sign up details will be announced in January.