Another Year of Bringing People Together

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We’re delighted to share the news that we have received funding from The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) for another year.

This will be our fifth round of funding after four successful phases of funds which have been used to transform communities and bring people together from different backgrounds. This work will be supporting the government’s new Integrated Communities Strategy, as well as the five local authorities that have been elected as the first Integrated Areas in particular (Blackburn with Darwen, Bradford, Peterborough, Walsall, and Waltham Forest) among other areas of our hubs.

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This means that our work of developing relationships between people of different faiths and ethnic backgrounds will continue to grow. We’ll be able to support more of the incredible local projects that grow from within communities across England. The projects we’ve supported work to address a variety of issues such as integration, employment skills, mental health, environmental work, and homelessness.

Our Small Grants fund has awarded over £6m to over 1,600 projects since we started in 2011. These projects have impacted the lives of over a million people and 71% of projects have continued to run after the initial seed funding was spent. Our next round of Small Grants is planned to open in June this year.

Minister for Faith Lord Bourne said: "Near Neighbours have a fantastic track record in delivering real and lasting changes to many communities across the country. We want everyone to make the most of the opportunities that living here offers and Near Neighbours are well positioned to support Government in bringing forward our bold proposals to create a stronger, better integrated Britain. I am delighted to be able to confirm our continued support today, and I am confident that this funding will be used to create a wide range of opportunities for people of all backgrounds to mix, socialise and work together to make their communities even better places to live."

Chairman of Near Neighbours trustees, Baroness Eaton, commented: “I am thrilled to hear Near Neighbours will be continuing its vital work in creating harmony and friendships within communities in England. From visiting Near Neighbours projects in the past, I have no doubt this funding from the government for a further year will ensure an even greater impact for our diverse local communities.”

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This new funding will enable us to expand our work within England’s diverse communities by providing grants to community projects, providing safe spaces for difficult conversations and by supporting Places of Welcome. Another strand of work us is faith leadership training which fosters open discussion and tolerance, along with encouraging women and young people into leadership roles.

Paul Hackwood, Executive Director of Near Neighbours, said: “Near Neighbours has been working within communities in England for many years and has impacted over one million people from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds. I’m excited to see that work continue a further year where we will be reaching more communities and further expanding the work. This funding provides us with the opportunity to continue build social cohesion and public confidence in our diverse society.”