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Case studies

Islamic Society of Britain

Themes: Leicester, Homelessness, Civil engagement

ISB Leicester branch is partnering with St James the Greater Church to host a weekly meal for homeless people in Highfields, in an initiative that brings two local faith groups together to take action in their community. This project not only provides a free hot meal for those that need it, but will also act as a space for new friendships to form between the diverse groups present.

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Confederation of Indian Organisations

Themes: Leicester, Young people, Civil engagement

CIO is a membership organisation of over 100 agencies representing various South Asian communities of all faiths. Near Neighbours is funding a pilot mentoring programme to prevent reoffending amongst young people from the Belgrave and Latimer areas of Leicester, by training eight volunteer mentors of different faiths. The project has the support of six Hindu temples, two mosques, two gurdwaras, and has consulted with various Christian leaders.

Hope Hamilton Church

Themes: Leicester, Community development, First encounters

Hope Hamilton is part of a new and highly diverse housing estate. In response to the need for inclusive community events, it held a light party to coincide with Diwali. By involving local Hindu mothers in planning the party, over 200 diverse residents attended the celebration. This first encounters event was achieved with a £600 grant and has created closer relationships between faith groups, who are already planning more joint events.

Parents Together

Themes: Leicester, Parenting, Everyday interactions

Parents Together is an informal group of local parents drawn from diverse backgrounds. This project provides weekly play sessions for children and parents, encouraging new relationships to be formed between diverse neighbours. Sessional workers will coordinate the project, running creative activities and helping parents to engage constructively with their children. The group hopes to develop the project to include family learning sessions on storytelling and common childhood illnesses.

The following are a selection of community projects funded by Near Neighbours.

Birmingham Community Hosting Network (BIRCH)

Themes: Birmingham, Asylum seekers, Civil engagement

BIRCH are based in King’s Heath and facilitate the hosting of destitute asylum seekers by volunteers in their homes. The project is supported by the social action group of All Saints Church and Station Road Mosque, who advise on hosting Muslim guests. A Near Neighbours grant is helping this young organisation recruit and train more hosts and develop into a sustainable social project involving people of all faiths.

Our Community CIC

Themes: Birmingham, Young people, Everyday interactions

Our Community work on a deprived estate in Birmingham with large Pakistani, white British, Somali, Ethiopian and Kurdish communities, including many refugees and asylum seekers. Working in partnership with a housing association and Birmingham Youth Service, a Near Neighbours grant is supporting a youth club, following consultations with local residents. This will provide a safe space where young people can interact regularly and improve community cohesion on the diverse estate.

West Midlands Somali Association

Themes: Birmingham, Community development, Civil engagement

WMSA is working in partnership with a Christian community centre to host a couple of action days to improve the outside environment at the parish church and Somali centre. The project sees Christian and Muslim neighbours working together, and also involves mealtimes where the volunteers can get to know each other better. The two sites are local focal points, meaning the whole community can benefit from the project.

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