Shared Ground

A community of practice for all those working to avert community tensions and facilitate good relations

Shared Ground is for people and organisations which work alongside residents and in neighbourhoods to strengthen good relations and avert or manage tensions that can arise within communities. 

Shared Ground, which will start in May 2023, will combine a community of practice designed to facilitate peer learning and support, with elements of a training programme able to provide accredited CPD points. Booking details here.

Who is Shared Ground for?

The Shared Ground community of practice is designed to support individuals who are often on the frontline when it comes to responding to and averting community tensions. There is an identified need to provide support, guidance and training for these elements of peoples’ roles.

Such people will include local government officers working in community engagement, community safety, social cohesion, neighbourhood management, housing and other departments, including communications.

It will also be valuable for a wider set of service providers, including police officers; housing association staff; schools and colleges; people from charities, religious bodies and other organisations in the voluntary, community and faith sector.

What will Shared Ground cover?

Participants will have a chance to share information and reflections on:

  • Current issues, challenges and pressures
  • What’s working well
  • The systems and arrangements which people use to help identify, track, assess, and respond to indicators of community tension

As well as peer to peer learning each session will include substantive  knowledge and training inputs, activities and exercises delivered by Belong, including on some of the following areas:

  • Understanding the causes and drivers of community conflict – and the barriers to resolving these
  • How to assess the potential for community tensions in your area
  • Relevant conflict analysis tools
  • Positive steps to manage, resolve and transform conflicts
  • Frameworks for understanding cohesion and integration
  • Best practice in strategic responses to community conflict
  • Building local leadership to defuse local conflict and tensions
  • Approaches to working constructively with social change

Book your place now!

How will it work?

  • The Shared Ground community of practice will consist of six sessions a year, usually run for two hours online, with the option to hold one of the sessions in person for a half day with lunch.
  • 2023-24 sessions will be on a Tuesday 10:00-12:00 on the following dates: 23 May, 27 June, 26 September, 28 November, 30 January, 26 March. If demand for participation is high enough other dates may be rolled out.
  • The programme of sessions will be designed on the basis that participants will be able to come to at least three sessions, and ideally to all six of the sessions.
  • CPD accreditation will be available for those who attend three or more sessions. Over six sessions, participants will be able to earn up to twenty accredited CPD points.
  • Between sessions, support and advice will be available from the Belong facilitator, who will also be in contact with those participants who are working on action steps between sessions.
  • It will be run by Belong associates who bring substantial expertise of working on disputed social issues, and direct experience of work in situations where there are community tensions and conflict.

How much does it cost?

  • Standard prices will be £750 per person for six sessions or £450 per person for three sessions.
  • Local government bodies which are members of the Belong Network will be eligible to claim up to two FREE places (Advanced Members two free places, Standard Members one free place), plus a 33% discount on additional places.
  • All Belong Network members will be eligible to claim a 33% discount on places.
  • NB: Belong Network membership may be more cost effective than fees. To find out more about Belong Network membership or if your organisation is eligible for free or discounted places, please contact

Find out more about the Shared Ground community of practice

Please note, we expect demand for places to be high. If course places are filled, we will add your name to a waiting list for future cohorts of this community of practice.

We are also offering bespoke Shared Ground courses tailored to your organisation. If you would like to find out more about this please email

What is a community of practice? 

Shared Ground is one of a number of communities of practice facilitated by the Belong Network. This model aims to bring together people and organisations with a common focus or shared sectoral interest in different elements of social cohesion to facilitate information sharing and peer support. Shared Ground will exist alongside the Belong Local Government Network, which is enabling teams within local authorities with a strong focus on social cohesion and community resilience to develop best practice, share knowledge and ideas on policy, practice and strategy, and develop a collective voice.