Bradford District has been selected by the Government as one of five national Integration Areas for an ambitious programme of work as part of its Integrated Communities Strategy.
The aim is to create the conditions for more integration between our increasingly diverse communities. The vision is to develop ‘a place where everyone feels that they belong, are understood, feel safe and are able to fully participate in the opportunities the District offers.’
CNet will deliver the Community Conversations project in the selected wards between January and December 2020.
- The project intends to bring local residents of different backgrounds, religion, gender, age (from 18 years) sexuality, together to discuss their views, perceptions and concerns.
- It will be targeted in 10 areas, 2 in each constituency, identified by Area Coordinators and local Ward Officers, where it can have the widest reach and most impact, with particular attention to communities experiencing low levels of ‘community readiness’ to engage in a facilitated programme of conversations.
- The ‘Community Readiness’ model identifies nine stages of readiness that range from “no awareness” of the issue to “high level of community ownership”. Once a community's stage of readiness is identified, through a series of questions, plans can be formulated to raise levels of community readiness through engagement and communication exercises appropriate at each level and barriers that may impede community participation can be addressed.
- The project will explore how the group can raise aspirations for how they can live together within the District. The project will create a space where views can be aired without blame or judgement and are heard.
It is hoped that these conversations and exchanges will help to dispel some of the myths and rumours that can be a root cause of tension in communities resulting in:
- More people getting along with other people who are different from them;
- Increased confidence to mix with others;
- Improved perception of others;
- Increased critical thinking;
- Increased resilience in managing conflicts or tensions and;
- Sustainable bonds with others from different backgrounds.
- Increased participation in decision making and consultation
- Increased volunteering
The project will engage approximately 300 residents across the district who will develop a better understanding of the communities they live amongst and breakdown the barriers which prevent them from living in harmony.