The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has welcomed today's announcement of new funding for the ground-breaking Near Neighbours programme.
The £1.5m funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government will continue to support the programme’s work of building relationships of trust between different communities so they can get to know each other better and collaborate on initiatives that improve the local community they live in.
Near Neighbours is focused on developing relationships across faith and ethnic boundaries in some of England’s most diverse cities, where communities have in the past been separate but are now forging new relationships as they work together.
Archbishop Justin Welby said:
“I am delighted that the government has provided Near Neighbours with the funding to start its third phase of work. The innovative, collaborative and inspiring work of Near Neighbours has enabled diverse local communities across the country to work and live together effectively, but more importantly, it has enabled community relationships and friendships to blossom.
“As Christians we have been celebrating Easter with its message of hope and reconciliation for all people. We are committed to working with others of faith or no faith to see the transformation and restoration of our local communities. It is this vitality that makes me excited for the future of Near Neighbours.”
The latest wave of funding will be used to continue the programme’s work in communities by providing further support and grants.
All Near Neighbours projects are designed to change hearts and minds by bringing together different communities within a neighbourhood so that they can work together on issues of shared concern and common values.
Projects work across a variety of pressing social needs and issues including employment skills, environmental work, homelessness, and healthy eating. More than half of projects providing new skills to the unemployed and a third offer important social support to refugees.