APPG on Conflict Issues discuss good relations – 22nd October

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Conflict Issues


 Good Relations:

– community responses to hate, intolerance and divisiveness


The Houses of Parliament

Committee Room 70


Wednesday October 22nd 2014

7pm – 9pm

 ‘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. But what goes on at a 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 difference, and developing a sense of shared place and purpose?

Together with our partners International Alert (a peacebuilding organisation) we have been working with organisations across England to uncover the realities of how different communities get on together on the ground. Please join us to hear from people working at both a local and a national level  on strengthening good relations.


 Chaired by Chi Ongwara, MP for Newcastle Central.


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 thinktank 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 CIC 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.

People United bring people together using arts and creativity Tom Andrews will speak about their Kind Town project in Herne Bay, Kent,

Libby Malcolm, from Children North East works in Newcastle upon Tyne, bringing people together around a common purpose.

Lisa Cumming, Progamme for a Peaceful City, Bradford, West Yorkshire, is engaged in directly tackling tensions between different groups.


Untold Stories of Good Relations – our final report

We’ve been talking about Good Relations with 235 organisations in 11 different localities. What kind of work is ‘good relations work’? Who is doing it? What are the challenges and issues? And how can we strengthen community relations in local areas?

Untold Stories Final ReportWith our national partner International Alert and local partners; Stockwell Partnership, Newcastle Conflict Resolution Network, ARCH, Centre for Good Relations, Together for Peace, Programme for a Peaceful City, Who is Your Neighbour?, Just Lincolnshire, Foundation for Peace, Aik Saath, Barton Hill Settlement, Community Resolve, Social Action Research Foundation, Global Education Derby, Wolverhampton Network Consortium, Conflict and Change, Involve and Resolve, The Kitchen Table Café, we supported local events.

Over 340 people attended from the voluntary, community and public sectors, including police, youth justice, and local authorities.

Our final report details our findings, and outlines our plans for developing a national alliance for Good Relations.

You can download the executive summary here

And the full report here

If you want to know more, or to discuss how you can get involved contact:

Impact Report

In 2013 Talk for a Change worked nationally, locally and internationally:-

  • incubating a network of Good Relations practitioners with 235 English organisations.
  • facilitating talks about Caste prejudice with faith and social development groups and UK government.
  • supporting 9 community groups in Tower Hamlets to work in their neighbourhoods cohesively.
  • training 65 Local Authority staff in Yorkshire to talk about tough topics undermining good relations with local residents.
  • delivering community cohesion and peace building work with community members, local government and national government in Libya.
  • researching and publishing Building Resilience with Young People and Communities.
  • contributing to policy and practice discussions at 18 UK events.

In 2013 we worked in partnership with:-

Building Resilience with Young People and Communities

After interviews with 700 young people (undertaken by our partners Kaizen and Young Advisors) and 40 professionals, and lots of literature and dvd analysis, here  is our latest publication, and our carefully considered suggestions – mainly for youth agencies and community workers to consider in order to build young people and community’s resilience to future disorder

Its tough to summarise but the aspects of this that stick with me are how as adults we can contribute to young peoples’  resilience by being better at sharing power with them, better at helping them to contribute to communities, better at talking about them as assets and resources.

I hope you have a quick look at what we are suggesting. Many many thanks to all of those who took part.

Our work in Libya continues

Talk for a Change and Peaceful Change Initiative (PCI) collaborate in Libya

Talk for a Change is currently collaborating with Peaceful Change Initiative (PCI) on a project aimed at improving human security and local development in Libya.

Our work is an on-going partnership, rooted in our shared commitment to peace building and strengthening social cohesion. Having previously worked at the local level in Sirte and Bane Wallid, for my second visit I worked with the Ministry of Local Governance in Tripoli, providing strategic planning expertise for ‘conflict sensitive development’ in Libya.

We delivered workshops for representatives from different ministerial departments, aiming to support them to develop strategies that would improve relationships between communities and local authority representatives, whilst also getting them to think about how they could strengthen relationships between different community groups

Again I was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of civil society and government leaders that I worked with to pursue a vision based on trust, commonality and visible social justice.

I am also looking forward to attending the Libya Working Group discussion hosted by the Chatham House Middle East and North Africa Programme in partnership with the Peaceful Change initiative later this month.
Watch this space……………

Raj Bhari
Company Director