criminal justice
health & social care
local government
voluntary sector

Improving Social Cohesion and Integration Across Local Communities 

criminal justice

health & social care

local government

voluntary sector

08:45 - 16:00

Wednesday 17 July 2019


Early Bird Discount Offer

10% off all advertised rates for a limited time only. Discount available to public / voluntary organisations only

This Forum will provide an opportunity for participants to develop their understanding of the implications of the government’s Integrated Communities Action Plan and how through a range of cross-government measures the action plan will aim to build flourishing, integrated communities across the UK. Attendees will engage with leading voices in the social integration debate and examine innovative and effective best practice case studies across sectors that successfully access funding, work in partnership and demonstrate strong leadership to integrate communities and increase community cohesion.


This Forum is specifically designed for the wider public sector including Local Government, Charities and Police. Typical job titles include:

  • Community Engagement Officers
  • Community Safety Managers
  • Outreach Officers
  • Area Managers
  • Chief Inspectors
  • Heads of Community Support and Services
  • Prevent Coordinators and Officers
  • Safeguarding Leads
  • Service Managers
  • Team Managers
  • Children and Young Peoples Leads

This Forum is also open to Schools, Colleges and the Private Sector to encourage networking and debate.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Penny HobmanDeputy Director, Integration, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
  • Charlotte Weston, Walsall Integration Area Lead, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
  • Cllr. John Cotton, Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Community Safety and Equalities, Birmingham City Council
  • Jamiesha Majevadia, Senior Policy, Research and Evaluation Manager, The Challenge
  • Robin Tuddenham, Chief Executive, Calderdale Council
  • Professor Ted Cantle, Chair, Cohesion and Integration Network (COIN)
  • Panni Loh, Development Co-ordinator, Cohesion Sheffield
  • Dr Katherine Brown, Senior Lecturer, Islamic Studies, University of Birmingham 
  • Guy Rippon, Head of Foundation and Community Partnerships, Aston Villa Football Club 
  • Andrew Moffat, Assistant Headteacher, Parkfield Community School
  • Michael Spellman, Lead, Intergenerational Projects, ExtraCare Charitable Trust
  • Steven Raybould, Programme Director, Ageing Better in Birmingham 
View the agenda and additional speakers

Since voting to leave the EU, 62% of second generation British minorities believe that Britain has become less tolerant according to the Opinion Research Multicultural Britain in the 21st Century 2017 report. This comes at a time when hate crime has experienced a 29% spike and reflects the findings of Dame Louise Casey’s 2016 independent review into opportunity and integration which points to a worrying number of communities, divided along lines that include race, faith and socio-economic background. In 2017, Dame Casey said the government had done ‘absolutely nothing’ about community cohesion.

An IPPR report in 2018 found that from 2009-2017 funding for integration efforts had dropped by almost a third. The government has now, though, made a commitment to reversing these worrying trends. In March 2018 the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) announced its Integrated Communities Strategy and £50 million funding until 2020, focussing on the need for tailored local plans and interventions. A Cohesion and Integration Network (COIN) will be set up as a hub for sharing best practice which will be trialled through a localised approach in 5 ‘integration areas’ and will be driven by a £7 million Innovation Fund

This led to the development of the Integrated Communities Action Plan, released in Febraury 2019 to drive forward work across Government to create socially and economically stronger, more confident and integrated communities. It complements the wider work that Government is taking to address barriers that can limit opportunity and undermine integration. It complements the Civil Society Strategy that sets out Government’s vision for how Government will work with and support civil society to create thriving communities and realise social value, enriched lives and a fairer society for all. This has been consolidated with the August 2018 implementation of the Controlling Migration Fund and Building Connections Fund, allocating a combined £140 million from MHCLG and the Home Office being awarded to local authorities across England. It is intended to provide local government, schools and community organisations with the means to achieve broader goals of supporting new migrants and resident communities, facilitating safe spaces for social mixing through education for young people, boosting English language skills and tackling residential segregation.

To really tackle the divisions within our communities and wider society it is imperative that local authorities, charities, local community groups and schools work together to tackle mistrust and division to deploy the funding that is available effectively.


Registration, Refreshment and Networking


Chair's Welcome Address

Professor Ted Cantle, Chair, Cohesion and Integration Network (COIN) (CONFIRMED)


Morning Keynote: Outlining the Government's 2019 Integrated Communities Action Plan

  • Exploring how the key priorities of the Integrated Communities Action Plan will be implemented, building upon the 2018 strategy paper, such as how to show leadership, address labour market disadvantage and measure impact
  • Detailing the criteria for access to various funding streams including the £7 million Integrated Innovation Fund and how to effectively deploy it by April 2020, as well as the combined £140 million Controlling Migration Fund Prospectus funding
  • Sharing the vision for the newly established Cohesion and Integration Network (COIN) and how to reap the benefits from the best practice that it shares
  • Understanding the rationale behind a place-based approach and the 5 piloted ‘integration areas’ and how the lessons learnt can be applied to specific communities

Penny HobmanDeputy Director, Integration, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (CONFIRMED)

Charlotte Weston, Walsall Integration Area Lead, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: The APPG Perspective - Understanding the Value of Social Integration

  • Responding to cultural and demographic changes: Understanding what integration and social cohesion entails within the context of local communities
  • Highlighting the social, cultural and economic benefits of creating safe community spaces that promote social mixing for people of different backgrounds, communities and groups
  • Instilling community solidarity across dividing lines: Understanding how to highlight and make visible the positive contributions that different groups make towards community life
  • Drawing on the APPG on Social Integration findings from the ‘Ages Apart’ and ‘Integration not Demonisation’ reports to reinforce the case for social integration
  • Detailing the need for focus on and investment in English language learning programmes

Jamiesha Majevadia, Senior Policy, Research and Evaluation Manager, The Challenge (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: The Impact of a Strategic Focus on Integration in Place: The Calderdale Story

  • Our Calderdale’s Vision 2024 : mobilising our community and the power of kindness
  • The impact of migration, challenging the status quo and preparing for leaving the EU
  • Examining lessons learned from bidding and successfully obtaining £450,000 of funding from the Controlling Migration Fund
  • Leadership through place; the role of faith communities through the Calderdale Interfaith Council in building social capital in crisis
  • The role of early intervention in neighbourhoods where there is a real or perceived view that migration is reducing opportunities for the settled communities

Robin Tuddenham, Chief Executive, Calderdale Council (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Working in Collaboration to Drive Successful, Communicative Social Cohesion

  • Looking at Cohesion Sheffield and how they practically enforce the Citywide Cohesion Strategic Framework which was written as a joint strategy by Sheffield Cohesion Advisory Group (CAG) and Sheffield City Council
  • Discussing how the Strategic Framework was created to help guide organisations and businesses across sectors, to support communities to drive activities and initiatives that promote cohesion; acting as a scaffolding mechanism built to support and incubate programmes, rather than mandating action
  • Examining the implementation of cohesion advisors, what this role entails and practical insights into the impact these individuals have already had
  • Discussing case studies that have already been implemented, challenges and solutions. Including: Sheffield Futures Youth Cabinet, Syrian Gateway, RUBIC Project, SAVTE and more that have encouraged greater engagement of young people towards politics, settling and supporting refugee families and using sport as a means to connect bonds between members of communities

Panni Loh, Development Co-ordinator, Cohesion Sheffield (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: The Importance of Proactive Policy-Making in Achieving Greater Social Cohesion

  • Reviewing the creation of Wolverhampton’s Community Cohesion Forum, which brings together statutory agencies, community groups, local government and the faith sector to discuss and plan strategies to further community cohesion
  • Analysing the impact of the Faith Covenant, a product of the APPG on on Faith and Society, and how Wolverhampton has used it as a vehicle to further the engagement of faith groups in the area
  • Looking at the Adults and Safer City Scrutiny panel and how it led to the creation and continues to monitor of the Safer Wolverhampton Partnership and specifically how this led to greater cohesion through reducing crime and a focus on integrating ex-offenders into the community

Hazel Malcolm, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, Wolverhampton City Council (CONFIRMED)



Questions and Answers


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Developing and Tailoring A Social Integration Strategy to Local Needs

  • Delivering an overview of the Birmingham Community Cohesion Strategy: Mainstreaming community cohesion – making it part of everyday policy and practice design and delivery
  • Examining the impact of holding an annual citywide partnership Community Cohesion Summit to enable local conversations, connecting policy-makers, community groups and local individuals, allowing them to understand and respond to the changing needs of Birmingham’s city-area
  • Looking at a collaborative approach to design and producing local solutions that promote an asset based approach to local problem solving, such as improvements to open public spaces; friends of local parks groups; and community clean-ups
  • Creating safe spaces to generate community conversations on real community concerns and grievances – to help create a transparent and clear environment for all those involved

Cllr. John Cotton, Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Community Safety and Equalities, Birmingham City Council (CONFIRMED)


Interactive Panel Debate: Working Across Sectors - Assessing Different Perspectives for Driving Social Cohesion

  • How to promote integration and how to ensure that this translates into better social cohesion?
  • What roles should different sectors occupy to promote and enable social cohesion?
  • In which area is there most scope for progress?
  • To what extent is it realistic to expect schools, law enforcement, local authorities, charities and the housing sector to work together and drive social cohesion?
  • What does a socially cohesive society look like?
  • How can meaningful mixing and contact theory be implemented in practice?

Cllr. John Cotton, Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Community Safety and Equalities, Birmingham City Council (CONFIRMED)

Andrew Moffat, Assistant Headteacher, Parkfield Community School (CONFIRMED)

Steven Raybould, Programme Director, Ageing Better in Birmingham (CONFIRMED)

Dr Katherine Brown, Senior Lecturer, Islamic Studies, University of Birmingham (CONFIRMED)



Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Encouraging Social Cohesion Through Sport and Shared Interest

  • Exploring the initiative Supporting Our Own organised by Aston Villa Football Club’s Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy
  • Looking closer at the organisation of the initiative through the Aston Villa Foundation and how they’ve implemented Supporting Our Own to provide an identity for the club’s work in the community and its approach to corporate social responsibility
  • Discussing how the initiative sees the delivery of projects and activities through the club’s official foundation in and around Birmingham to promote sport, health, wellbeing, education and inclusive opportunities – all things outlined in the Government’s Integrated Communities Action Plan

Guy Rippon, Head of Foundation and Community Partnerships, Aston Villa Football Club (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: You can’t have community cohesion without a community – Building Bonds that bind Us

  • Creating an environment that builds community – how to avoid imposing an organisational culture
  • Building connection and its relationship to cohesion, fostering micro-activity that supports integration
  • Developing identity and supporting difference without creating silos, how to create communities with porous boundaries

Steven Raybould, Programme Director, Ageing Better in Birmingham (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Promoting Social Cohesion by Creating ‘Ageless Communities’ Through Intergenerational Practice

  • Examining ExtraCare’s perspective and experience when it comes to placing relationship building at the core of successful integration initiatives
  • Looking at the benefits of this approach, including having an impact on reducing isolation and negative stereotyping
  • Discussing how the ExtraCare Charitable Trust is incorporating intergenerational practice into what they do to reinforce communities as ageless spaces, such as dedicated spaces for young and elderly individuals to chat or engage in games or mutual interests 
  • Analysing the need for environments where relationships can develop between the young and old, as behavioural insights have shown this is a practice that rarely occurs in modern times, creating a generational void in society
  • Reviewing the knock-on effects of such environments, including increased social capital and community cohesion

Michael Spellman, Lead, Intergenerational Projects, ExtraCare Charitable Trust (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair's Summary and Close

*Programme is subject to change

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