Our Connecting Communities programme brings together Central Eastern European (CEE) communities to ensure they are well informed and equipped with all the tools necessary to enable them to thrive in Birmingham. Our programme looks to nurture integration and community cohesion in Handsworth, Erdington and Acocks Green; the city's areas with the largest CEE populations. We are working in partnership with local organisations including University of Birmingham and individuals already active in Handsworth, Acocks Green and Erdington to ensure our communities are more connected and feel at home in their neighbourhoods.
Our programme consists of three core components:
- Regular drop-in advice sessions
- Community Champion training programme
- Community events and online activities
We will address the most pressing issues affecting our communities the lack of access to public services, difficulty accessing information and cultural barriers to integration. Our aim is to empower our communities to self-organise and find solutions to challenges within them, therefore our project is more of a show-me-how rather than give-me. In our delivery we are committed to continue the difficult conversations about the future of our communities in the United Kingdom after Brexit, where we champion pro-active social attitudes, civic participation, local activism and the ambitions of our communities. We believe for our communities to truly thrive we must elevate those within our communities who can take on the role of Community Champions, those who will lead our communities and proactively ensure effective change for the better. As part of our Community Champions programme we are working with 12 individuals we have identified as pro-active community members to become community leaders, by equipping them with knowledge, competences and tools to become change-makers in their local areas. Participants of the programme are trained in all principles of community development and engagement, and receive ongoing mentoring and guidance in order to develop their local projects.