A new charity that will look to strengthen and build good community cohesion has announced it is to base its national HQ in Manchester.
The Cohesion and Integration Network is a new national charity and membership organisation which has been set up with support from the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government and as part of the Integrated Communities Green Paper and Action Plan.
The Cohesion and Integration Network will be an advocate and champion for all those who are doing work which strengthens good community relations, bridges divides and promotes empathy and understanding across different groups. It will disseminate and share best practice, new ideas and connections in local areas and nationally across the UK, to build a more integrated and less divided society.
The network will be formally launched by Viscount Younger of Leckie, the Minister for Communities and Faith at an evening event on Thursday 10th October, alongside speakers including Councillor Sue Murphy, deputy leader of the council and David Jones, leader of Bury Council, and portfolio lead for cohesion for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
Jo Broadwood is the Chief Executive of the Cohesion and Integration Network:
“We are really proud to have our home in the welcoming, vibrant and diverse city of Manchester, that is already leading the way on cohesion and integration in the UK. We are inspired by the many excellent examples of good practice that we have already seen in action across the city and the Greater Manchester Area and are looking forward to working closely with the council, as one of our founding members, to raise the profile of this vital work, developing the network as a centre of excellence for cohesion and integration.”
Sue Murphy, Deputy Leader of the Council, welcomed the new network:
"Manchester is delighted to welcome the national Cohesion Network to the city. As one it's founding members, we look forward to working with the network to shape and collaborate with others from across the private, public and community sectors and build the profile of Manchester. This is a real opportunity to showcase best practice from across the country and learn more about programmes that have been successful in building community cohesion and integration."
COIN trustee Shalni Arora is a leading Manchester entrepreneur and philanthropist and CEO of the Savannah Wisdom Foundation. She served as a commissioner on the independent commission into tackling extremism and promoting social cohesion set up by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham following the Manchester Arena attack in 2017.
“We are delighted to have the support of Manchester City Council in establishing this important organisation here in this great City, demonstrating once again its leadership and foresight. There has never been a more urgent need for a network that brings organisations together from across the UK to strengthen cohesion and integration practice and policy. We look forward to establishing a close partnership with the council, raising the profile of this important work for the benefit of all”
Communities Minister Viscount Younger said:
“Today I have met many fantastic individuals and organisations in the North West, which Belong – the Cohesion and Integration Network - will bring together and support to create a stronger, more integrated society.
“Work to build stronger, more integrated communities has never been more important. The Government is proud to support this. It is a vital network as it builds capability amongst community leaders and connects those who are developing and delivering cohesion and integration programmes to share learning and best practice.
“It’s great to see Manchester, a city renowned for its strong sense of local pride, confirmed as the base for this network’s national headquarters.”
For more information about the Cohesion and Integration Network please visit: www.cohesionintegration.net