The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) has announced that £1.3 million has been awarded to the ground-breaking Near Neighbours programme to build relationships between different communities to address hate, fear, and the voices of division. Church Urban Fund has added £100,000 as support for the programme.
This will be Near Neighbours’ fifth round of funding after four successful phases of funds 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.
The work of Near Neighbours is focused on developing relationships between people of different faiths and ethnic backgrounds in some of England’s most diverse areas including Sandwell and the surrounding Black Country boroughs.
Last year Near Neighbours funded Holy Trinity Church, Smethwick, in partnership with Abrahamic Foundation, Litter Watch and other local faith and community groups to form Common Ground. Together they started work on transforming an unused allotment in Smethwick into a community orchard for all. Funding from Near Neighbours was used to get the orchard started.
This new funding will enable Near Neighbours to expand their vital work within England’s diverse communities. The Near Neighbours small grants programme awards grants of up to £5,000 to projects that enable people of different faiths (or none) to work together to the benefit of the community.
Applications are welcome from faith and community groups in the Near Neighbours funded areas of Sandwell – please see website for details.
Contact Near Neighbours Black Country Coordinator for more details at on 01922 700952 or email Ruth.Burgess@tctogether.org.uk