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Belong – the Cohesion and Integration Network

This project is now complete

Two research projects to support actions that bridge divides between people from different backgrounds.

The project in numbers


Project spend

July 2019 – May 2021

Project duration

Belong Network

Grantee organisation

Drawing on research from Belong – The Cohesion and Integration Network, Radical Kindness brought together engaging, inspiring and evidence-based content about acts that build connections across communities.

Radical Kindness is defined as ‘kindness which reaches across differences’*, and has the power to promote integration and social cohesion, whilst addressing underlying prejudice.

Social mixing is one of the most powerful ways of reducing prejudice and promoting empathy between different groups of people. During the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, while opportunities for social mixing declined sharply, instances of civic support, community connection and mutual aid surged.

At its heart, Radical Kindness aimed to capture and propagate creative and inspiring reminders of the power of social connection, particularly across difference.

In partnership with the University of Kent, and funded by the Nuffield Foundation, Belong’s ‘Beyond Us and Them’ research project investigated the impact of Covid-19 on social cohesion. Spirit of 2012 acted as a community partner on this project, supporting the recruitment of survey respondents and focus group attendees. Radical Kindness drew on these findings, using data and stories to produce engaging, inspiring content that promotes radical kindness. The programme celebrated the people and projects building bridges across difference, for example those working with young people, asylum seekers and refugees, intergenerational projects, cross-cultural and interfaith work.

Radical Kindness developed audio and visual content, creating accessible, informative, and inspiring materials that bring the research to life. A range of podcasts, webinars and case studies showcased best practice, with the people and projects doing radical kindness work at the heart of the conversation.

* From research and policy work carried out by The Carnegie Trust and others

Cohesion and Integration Toolkit

Spirit awarded £25,000 to Belong to develop a digital toolkit that supports the design and evaluation of cohesion and integration programmes. The toolkit was match funded by Sport England.

The toolkit helps organisations explore best practice and set up ways to evaluate their projects, and to assess the impact they have on cohesion within the communities where they are run.

Find out more by viewing the Insight page.


Project aims

  1. Inspire kindness that reaches across divides in communities.

Visit Belong Network’s website

For further information

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