Building good relations in England

‘British values’, ‘too many migrants’, ‘Trojan horses’, ‘skivers versus strivers’. Heated national debates about issues such as identity, integration and fairness increasingly set one group against another in England.

But what goes on at the local level? Are good relations across different social groups and identities even possible? And who is doing the invisible ‘social glue’ work, strengthening social bonds and trust across differences, and developing a sense of shared place and purpose?

International Alert and Talk for a Change, a community interest company, have been working with organisations across England to uncover the realities of how different communities get on together on the ground.

Alert and Talk for a Change, in partnership with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Conflict Issues, are hosting an event entitled ‘Good relations – community responses to hate, intolerance and divisiveness’ to hear from people working at both the national and local levels across England to build good relations.

The event will be held on Wednesday 22 October 2014 from 7–9pm at the Houses of Parliament (Committee Room 70) and will be chaired by Chi Ongwara, MP for Newcastle Central.

To book your place, please RSVP to


Professor Miles Hewstone is from the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford. Professor Hewstone is a researcher and expert on intergroup relations who has advised on public policy to the Department of Communities and Local Government.

Sunder Katwala is Director of British Future – an independent, non-partisan think tank seeking to involve people in open conversations about identity and integration, migration and opportunity.

Jo Broadwood is a director at Talk for a Change, a community interest company committed to strengthening, supporting and promoting good relations work. She is lead author of Untold Stories of Good Relations, the joint report from International Alert and Talk for a Change on good relations work happening across England.

Youth-led charity, Aik Saath, based in Slough, promote understanding and cooperation across different identities with groups of young people.

Tom Andrews is from People United, a charity that brings people together using arts and creativity. Tom will speak about the organisation’s Kind Town project in Herne Bay, Kent.

Libby Malcolm is from Children North East, a children’s charity that works in Newcastle upon Tyne to bring people together around a common purpose.

Lisa Cumming is from Programme for a Peaceful City in Bradford, a network engaged in directly tackling tensions between different groups.