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Community Cohesion

Pathfinder Programme
The first six months. October 2003

Vantagepoint is proud to be part of the Home Office’s flagship


Community Cohesion Pathfinder programme.

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providers of management consulting services to the public sector.

Vantagepoint works with local authorities, housing providers, central


government departments, and higher education institutions to help
organisations:

• improve their business performance and service delivery;


• modernise their services;
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• manage and implement change.

Our expertise lies in:

• Community cohesion
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Vantagepoint are an Oakley company.


The Pathfinder Programme
A cohesive community is one where:

• there is a common vision and a sense of belonging for all communities;


• the diversity of people’s different backgrounds and circumstances are appreciated and
positively valued;
• those from different backgrounds have similar life opportunities; and
• strong and positive relationships are being developed between people from different
backgrounds in the workplace, in schools and within neighbourhoods.
Definition of Community Cohesion - LGA Guidance 2001
FOREWORD
It is now more than two years since disturbances in Bradford, Burnley and Oldham highlighted the need to take In the summer of 2001 disturbances The Community Cohesion Pathfinder assessment exercise conducted in
positive action to address the tensions and divisions that can have a profound impact on local communities. occurred in Bradford, Oldham and Programme was launched in April October 2003.
Since then much has been done - at both a local and a national level - to work towards improved community Burnley. The ensuing debate 2003, with funding provided for the
This report is structured around the
cohesion within local areas. But we all recognise that there are no quick fixes or simple answers. identified the lack of understanding pathfinders until September 2004.
issues and challenges faced by the
and common ground between The fourteen funded programmes
The Community Cohesion Pathfinder Programme is a key element of the Government’s work on community Pathfinders in the early stages of
communities as a significant cause of were selected to demonstrate the
cohesion. The Home Office and the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit have jointly committed £6 million of funding to their programmes. These are:
the disturbances. The violent potentially wide application of
a range of programmes that explore, in different local contexts, the best means of increasing levels of
fractures in Bradford, Oldham and community cohesion principles in the • Engagement with leaders
community cohesion in Britain. The Pathfinders are at the cutting edge of social policy, testing new and
Burnley placed the inevitable pursuit of greater social cohesion.
innovative methods of engagement, and adapting existing networks and expertise, all to bring people closer • Working with the voluntary and
tensions and divisions brought by They address variously, tensions
together. community sector
Britain’s increasing ethnic and between ethnic communities in urban
Sharing learning and experiences is an integral part of the Pathfinder programme. The Pathfinders are 1 cultural diversity at the centre of areas, travelling communities in rural • Communication
pioneering new working practices for the benefit of all local areas. That is why the impact of the Programme will Government policy. Community areas and the difficulties caused by
extend far beyond the funded areas, providing a range of lessons, toolkits and evidence for all agencies seeking • Sustainability
cohesion is not something that large numbers of American service
to work for community cohesion. government – whether central or personnel in the East of England. Each section provides both a
I believe we have come a long way in two years. We are confronting the issues raised by the disturbances. We local - can impose. But government The programme outputs are similarly condensed version of the main
have ensured that social cohesion is now a key priority at national and local level. I am pleased to introduce the and its partners can facilitate varied, tackling the gap between learning experiences and practical
first report of the Pathfinder Programme, which summarises the early experiences of the Pathfinders as they cohesion within communities. youth and age, inter-faith and intra- examples of how the Pathfinders and
explore and develop their responses to this challenging agenda. faith tensions, and gender Shadows have translated the broad
The Community Cohesion Unit of the
differences. What binds these principles of community cohesion
Home Office manages the Pathfinder
apparently disparate programmes into pragmatic and workable
programme, a joint initiative with the
Fiona Mactaggart together is the common objective of community based programmes. The
Neighbourhood Renewal Unit of the
breaking down barriers between and report concludes with a brief
Parliamentary Under Secretary for Race Equality, Community Policy and Civil Renewal Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
within communities. description of issues identified as
that places the pursuit of mutual
areas of potential future learning.
understanding and the creation of Sharing the learning from these
common ground between programmes is an inherent part of
communities at the heart of the Pathfinder scheme. Some of the
community development. Fourteen funding is therefore directed towards
local partnerships have been funded a programme of support for
CONTENTS to pioneer community cohesion dissemination activities. These
programmes in their geographical activities include a Conference
1 The Pathfinder Programme areas. A further fourteen authorities Programme, regular action learning
are designated ‘Shadow’ sets, and a self-assessment exercise
Pathfinders, unfunded but active through which learning experiences
2 Engaging with Leaders
participants in the learning elements are collated and evaluated.
of the Pathfinder Programme. The
5 Engaging with the voluntary sector and local communities This report sets out progress made
shared experiences of both
within the Pathfinder areas in
Pathfinders and Shadows will provide
developing and delivering their
8 Communicating with a wider audience a body evidence for all public and
programmes in the first six months.
voluntary sector bodies wishing to
In doing so it draws on experiences
10 Sustainability develop community cohesion within
identified through the action learning
their local areas.
sets and through the self-
12 Conclusion

Front cover images supplied courtesy of the Signal Project, the Home Office and
the East Lancs Partnership
Engaging with leaders
Political engagement has emerged as an early ‘theme’ both in learning sets and through
the self-assessment exercise. All funded Pathfinders have achieved a degree of political
support through the bidding process. Nevertheless, maintaining the interest of elected
Members in a Programme that is not as yet identified as an integral element of mainstream
services remains a high priority.

Some Pathfinders are delivering Pathfinders have adopted a range of CHARNWOOD PATHFINDER wanted to
programmes against a backdrop of approaches in establishing the basis reach out to groups who were not
extremist political activity, where a for longer term cross party and cross necessarily engaged with or represented
minority of local politicians seek to community support. These include: by their local political and community
exploit the differences between leaders. They put out an open call for
• Engaging with elected members
geographical communities and prospective proposals to be funded under
through seminars, presentations,
communities of interest for the the Pathfinder programme. The result
published information and
purposes of electoral gain. In these was effective in uncovering agencies and
stakeholder groups.
difficult circumstances, how have the groups who were not known to local
Pathfinders managed to gain longer • Involving the elected Mayor in the politicians or engaged with mainstream
term political and executive support Pathfinder Steering Group, thus structures. This means the Pathfinder
for their programmes? encouraging a high political profile starts with strong ‘buy in’ from local
for the issue through engagement groups who might not otherwise have
Local, administrative and community
with a powerful figurehead been aware of the Pathfinder programme.
leaders must feel the concept has
The challenge now is to make sure that
2 some resonance within their local • Appointing local political leaders to 3
expectations created by this initiative are
community before they can truly own the Pathfinder Steering Group
managed. Some groups lose interest
the community cohesion agenda.
• Introducing Member Training on when they realise there are strings
The early experiences of the
community cohesion, in some attached to involvement in the scheme.
Pathfinders suggest that some
cases using practical case studies But still, vigorous promotion of joint
political and community leaders find
and discussion sessions to brief service delivery can be rewarding and
the concept difficult to distinguish
Members on the application of the lead to a sustainable legacy of co-
from other related agendas such as
community cohesion guidance operation and partnership.
race relations. This is particularly
true where there are only very small • Delivering a conference on
ethnic minority communities within community cohesion spearheaded
the area – meaning that the issue of by the Local Strategic Partnership
community cohesion is seen as less
• Using the Local Strategic
important. Many Pathfinders have
Partnership as a means of
given a high priority to finding ways
engaging with all levels of political,
of defining community cohesion that
local authority and community
illuminate the concept for a local
leadership
audience.
• Establishing political support
Success in engaging local political
through accessing existing
and administrative leaders is also
structures, such as appointing a
strongly linked to the long-term
Cabinet Member as a champion
sustainability of projects currently
funded through the Pathfinder • Developing an all party pledge
programme. In areas that are not which was signed by local Images supplied courtesy of the East Lancs
currently supported by members from all political parties Partnership
Neighbourhood Renewal Funding the and representatives of all local
extent of local political support will be communities
a key factor in deciding whether
• Making an open call to groups
projects continue after September
operating outside the normal
2004.
political and community
consultation processes
Engaging with the voluntary and
community sectors
All Pathfinder programmes were put together as partnership programmes between local
authorities and the voluntary sector. They continue to run as partnership enterprises, in
many cases voluntary sector partners taking major responsibility for the distribution of
funds to projects and for delivery of initiatives on the ground.

Image supplied courtesy of the Signal Project, London Borough of Southwark. www.signalproject.com A key element of all Pathfinder bidding process for a pot of money THE WEST LONDON ALLIANCE initiated
programmes is this high level of that is still relatively small. their Pathfinder Programme by leading a
engagement with communities either major piece of research titled ‘ What
Learning experiences • Don’t be over-cautious in • Even where engagement with • Involving local race equality
through existing networks of works at Community Level to support
addressing divisions within and political leaders has been councils and refugee forums in the
Learning is developing around how voluntary and community sector community cohesiveness’. Part of the
between communities. Try not to successful it is important to think early stages of the programme is
best to engage with local political networks or directly. Many Pathfinder research involved a major conference
set boundaries to projects that are about wider community leadership important, as there is a clear
leaders, and what pitfalls might funded projects are directly aimed at through which over 3000 voluntary sector
based only on your interpretation of when addressing community overlap between community
emerge for those wishing to develop providing platforms for different groups across West London were
local sensitivity. For example, Tower cohesion issues. For example, cohesion and the race equality and
their own local programmes. communities to meet through contacted. 250 attendees subsequently
Hamlets Shadow Pathfinder has Middlesbrough Pathfinder have asylum agendas.
community activities. Others address followed up their Conference attendance
• It is important to have difficult initiated discussions with the East succeeded in gaining widespread
cohesion issues through delivery of • Organising the Pathfinder with a detailed response to
debates with Leaders at an early London Mosque over the political ownership of the
community events, through myth programme so that the Local questionnaires on what works on the
stage in the process. Part of the breakdown of Bangladeshi community cohesion agenda
4 5 busting, information and publicity Authority Partner takes on an ground, and around 50 of these
process of buying into the marriages. As a result, they have through the Local Strategic
campaigns. All programmes require ‘enabling’ role, with voluntary and responses are being used to illustrate the
community cohesion agenda is identified further work around the Partnership and a Member Training
the active co-operation of community community sector leading and research report with examples of good
recognising the importance of counselling abilities of the Imams. programme aimed at explaining
and voluntary sectors for their delivering on the programme. practice from voluntary sector
difficult issues and problems being community cohesion. Nevertheless,
• It is wise to phase engagement ultimate success. practitioners. The research programme
confronted and challenged rather they continue to work at engaging • Engaging the community and
with different groups, starting with and Conference has been used both to
than left to extremists to claim as in particular with Community Strong voluntary sector involvement voluntary sectors through the Local
smaller groups first, simply explain the community cohesion
their own. Councils and with school in the early stages of the Pathfinder Strategic Partnerships and
because you can’t take programme and to reap examples of
governors, who have less of a is perceived as a key factor Community Councils.
• It is possible to promote wider commonality for granted even good practice from the people who will
culture of engagement around determining the successful launch of
political support for social cohesion amongst a small set of community Direct community engagement is ultimately be delivering the programme.
community cohesion issues. programmes. Voluntary sector
by bringing difficult debates into the leaders. Phased engagement equally important to the Pathfinders.
partners bring additional expertise to
public arena. Pathfinders have strategies allow you to develop One of the real challenges of the
the programmes, and a range of
used public information initiatives to clear products and strategies with programme is finding ways of THE EAST LANCASHIRE PARTNERSHIP has
STOKE ON TRENT PATHFINDER developed contacts at community level. The
stimulate debate in the public the voluntary and community engaging with hard to reach groups, worked with stakeholders to agree a
a community cohesion charter as a result is a number of creative
arena. One example is the annual sector before engaging with public possibly sections of a community common vision of Community Cohesion
statement of commitment for all local approaches to addressing problems
commemoration of Holocaust bodies and established politicians. marginalised from the traditional within East Lancashire. This partnership
agencies in advance of developing a local on the ground with the voluntary
Memorial Day as a means of It is easier for public bodies to consultation and engagement routes. Pathfinder comprises 6 geographical
strategy for community cohesion. The sector side of partnerships providing
addressing anti-Semitism within respond to well-defined products This area of delivery is one where areas with separate voluntary sector and
‘Charter’ interpreted the complexities of a new emphasis on responsiveness
communities, adopted by Rochdale or strategies rather than nebulous innovation is seen as key to success. local authority leads. Developing a
community cohesion and presented it in to programme delivery.
Pathfinder as a means of concepts or exploratory processes. Approaches include: common vision was seen as a vital
a simple and user-friendly format that
challenging local communities to This approach, adopted within the A range of innovative approaches element of the programme set up,
addressed local issues and local • Working to exploit existing
recognise and oppose anti- Southwark Pathfinder, can enable a have been adopted by local authority providing a means of simultaneously
concerns. This was followed by a networks rather than invent new
Semitism. clear set of foundations to be built and voluntary sector partners in promoting and explaining the work of the
Conference at which all key stakeholders ones. This is seen as particularly
for the pursuit of the programme getting the maximum benefit from Pathfinder. Another method used to
• Political engagement in its widest including Members were invited to relevant to Pathfinders engaged in
objectives. these unique administrative engage with the wider voluntary and faith
sense might mean looking beyond discuss and sign up to the Charter. At the youth based initiatives where there
partnerships. These include: sector was to encourage groups to come
normal channels of engagement • It is important to use the Conference, politicians, public sector and are effective community based
up with innovative project proposals for
with elected members and even community cohesion agenda as a local agencies engaged in wide • Setting up Pathfinder programmes networks already in place.
funding under the small grants fund. One
with community leaders. For means of celebrating diversity discussion of how community cohesion as integrated programmes from the
• Developing networks which focus of the conditions of funding was that the
example, community leaders might rather than emphasising principles would be adapted to the local outset. Pathfinders report that
on involving those traditionally organisations joined the East Lancashire
not represent sectional interests multiculturalism as a problem. This needs of Stoke on Trent. programmes have got off to a
excluded, such as asylum seekers, Partnership and signed up to the common
such as youth or women. This can is best brought about by frankness ‘flying start’ because of the early
black and ethnic minority vision and values it had developed.
be a sensitive issue, appearing as a and transparency in involvement of the voluntary sector.
communications with Members, communities and faith
challenge to those in positions of
• Making sure that there is general communities.
authority. It is absolutely necessary recognising both that there is
recognition of overlaps between
to increase the number of channels natural competition between • Making target groups aware of
local authority and voluntary sector
of communication, however, if the communities and that this is not what community cohesion means,
programmes. Rochdale Pathfinder
ultimate aim of improving social necessarily unhealthy. and involving them in defining
is commissioning projects in both
cohesion is to be met. appropriate routes for achieving it.
sectors, avoiding an onerous
Learning experiences • Work with youth is an important MIDDLESBROUGH PATHFINDER
element of many Pathfinder are working with local faith communities
Learning is developing around
programmes, an area that can to address the lack of contact and
engagement with the voluntary and
touch on sensitivities within understanding between local
community sector, a number of key
communities as well as wider communities. The Pathfinder has funded
themes are emerging. These include:
society. Plan initiatives that a range of initiatives, including
• Making sure there is a common empower young people without appointment of a dedicated worker within
understanding between all marginalising them. the voluntary sector to oversee the
stakeholders as to the definition of development of an inter-faith council.
• Allow sufficient lead in time when
community cohesion. Similarly Setting up the Council has been a slower
developing contact databases and
there needs to be a common process than expected. The new Worker
communication channels. If
understanding of the meaning of has had to work with different groups
possible be generous in the
partnership. within communities to tackle intra-faith
allocation of time for planning of
issues before establishing the inter-faith
• Being prepared for some initial projects. For the Pathfinders,
network. Nevertheless this investment of
cynicism when approaching programmes were put together
time in ensuring that women and young
community groups. This is one of a quickly due to the constraints of
people within Faith communities are
long line of initiatives many of bidding for external funds. This has
engaged is felt to be highly valuable.
which have proved unsustainable. meant that in some instances the
There may be a need to persuade original plans have had to be
stakeholders that this initiative is changed to reflect current realities
SOUTHWARK PATHFINDER produced a
going to be different. such as the impact of achieving
video of young people expressing their
Pathfinder status on work with
• It is difficult for the voluntary and views about their area and the services
community champions.
community sectors to engage on available to them. They then invited
an equal footing with public sector young people, their parents and carers to
agencies without appropriate view the video at a social evening
MANSFIELD PATHFINDER has been
infrastructure and support. Part of attended by youth practitioners who can
working within their community to make
the Pathfinder programme is about advertise their services face to face with
the concept of community cohesion
finding ways to describe cohesion potential users. The video was developed
recognisable to target communities. In an
1 7 in ways that reflect local conditions in direct response to criticisms that
area where only 2% of the population are
and the local context. young people were rarely consulted or
from an ethnic minority background,
provided with an opportunity to give
• Think carefully about capacity work has focused on the ‘banner’ phrase
feedback. The video and event created a
issues when engaging with of community cohesion can cause
‘feedback loop’ through which services
voluntary sector and community confusion and resistance. Mansfield’s
users, parents and professionals could
sector groups. Much is expected of Healing History project is working with
understand each other’s perspectives.
the voluntary sector, often with little local community groups to explore what
recognition of the significant community cohesion means in a
constraints placed on their specifically local context. In Mansfield,
ROCHDALE PATHFINDER ran a successful
involvement by lack of resources. this means recognising its lost culture of
event called ‘ Equality and Diversity is
Lack of capacity within the mining, the impact this has had on inter-
good for business’, the purpose being to
voluntary sector can result in low generational conflict and the race-related
bring together public, private and
flexibility in programme delivery and issues that have arisen from a
voluntary sector employers to explore the
an overly bureaucratic approach. predominantly white, male culture.
issues around establishing a business
• Sections of the community might case for equalities in each sector. The
not be engaged in mainstream event was well attended by local
TOWER HAMLETS SHADOW PATHFINDER
political processes. There is employers from many different
has used the Pathfinder project banner
potential tension between reaching communities, and provided a unique
as a means of bringing together
out to these sections of the forum to bring the debate around
organisations that would normally have
community and maintaining the equalities to a new audience.
little reason to communicate. This
support of elected politicians and
approach has already generated some
established community leaders.
interesting spin offs in relation to
This tension must be recognised in
engaging with the wider community. For
the early stages of planning of
example during Ramadan a group of
community cohesion initiatives.
older Bangladeshi people living in
When setting up initiatives it is
Wapping will use the Catholic Centre for
important to ensure that
evening prayers. And similarly the local
consultative meetings are widely
Catholic School is being engaged to
advertised beyond traditional
‘reach out’ to newer communities in the
consultative groups.
area such as those from Eastern Europe
who are less familiar with the
predominantly Muslim local culture.

Above: Young people transform dreary walls in Bermondsey with stunning murals. Image
courtesy of the Signal Project. www.signalproject.com
Communicating to a wider
audience
One of the major challenges for the Pathfinders is finding ways in which they can
communicate a positive message about community cohesion to a wider audience. This in
itself raises a number of difficult and sensitive issues around community cohesion.
Communication is a major element of each Pathfinder programme as all, to some extent,
are committed to stimulating contact and debate between groups that might not otherwise
Images supplied
have any opportunity to meet. Communications strategies employed might include events, Courtesy of the
public information, and work with the press and local media. Home Office

The first issue that has been raised This issue presents something of a • Adopting a low-key approach until SANDWELL PATHFINDER had already • Be prepared to deal with negative
by Pathfinders is what exactly to dilemma for the Pathfinders, but one the key messages of the conducted a number of early community press stories about the
publicise. Some Pathfinders have that is being actively confronted and programme have been agreed. For cohesion awareness meetings before programme. Community cohesion
committed themselves to raising managed in a number of different example the Southwark Pathfinder being confirmed as a funded Pathfinder. initiatives touch on sensitive issues
awareness of the community ways. The dilemma is that the worked with political and Their approach to communications has and there is always the potential for
cohesion agenda through Pathfinder programme itself is a community leaders in the early been built on this early experience. They negative messages being
communications strategies that newly funded programme that is stages of the programme to clarify have sought to publicise the concept of propagated by those who do not
target the voluntary and community directed – at least in part - towards key messages and to identify community cohesion rather than understand the programme.
sectors. Others have made a addressing the lack of understanding tangible products. Only when these individual programme elements. Their
8 9 • If possible involve representatives
conscious decision to promote between newer and older were widely agreed within the LEICESTER PATHFINDER involved the local communication strategy involves
of the local media in planning the
individual elements of their communities. Publicising the Pathfinder did implementation of newspaper group, the Leicester Mercury, targeting publicity and information on
media strategy. Educating the local
programmes but to play down the programme might in itself lead to the wider communication strategy on the steering group for the Pathfinder existing networks, such as the Sandwell
press about how to manage local
wider community cohesion agenda. negative press coverage and have a begin. programme. Press relations have in the CVO and the Scarman Trust to gain
sensitivities might prove effective in
Again the slightly nebulous and detrimental effect on local community past been problematic, and this active greater understanding of the concept and
• Understanding that you might need reducing the amount of damage
shifting definition of community relations if it was perceived as engagement with a powerful local press scope of community cohesion and its
to adopt a number of different done to local community relations
cohesion presents difficulties to the delivering more benefit to one group at the inception of the Pathfinder application in Sandwell.
approaches to communicating your by inaccurate reporting.
Pathfinders in that misinterpretation section of the community than project was seen as a means of changing
message, dependent on the
of their Programme objectives could another. As some Pathfinders are the basis of future press relations. The • Tailor communications to good
message, the audience, and the
prove counterproductive to the working with traditionally very overwhelming message received by Learning experiences news stories printed at the right
local media environment. In some
common aim of improving social marginalised and unpopular groups Press participants is that they would time and for the right reasons.
Pathfinders, where there have been Learning around how to
cohesion. such as travellers, the potential publish whatever news would sell Forcing the issue with the press
issues with press relations in the communicate positive messages to a
pitfalls of negative publicity increase. papers. This in itself is a learning can lead to a backlash against
Race and community relations are past, a deliberately low-key wider audience is developing rapidly
experience, providing a clear message to programmes such as these,
areas where relationships with the Pathfinders have adopted a number approach to communications is in the early stages of the Pathfinder
public and voluntary sector partners that identifying them as the new ‘flavour
press and media tend to be strained. of approaches to communicating a seen as most beneficial for the programme. Emerging themes
they must engage with commercial of the month’ and undermining the
Breaking news is traditionally more positive message about their Programme in its early stages. include:
bodies in a way that recognises their concept of community cohesion as
likely to present newer communities programmes, such as:
• Approaching local newspaper commercial interests. Working with the • Plan your communication strategy one which is short term and
in a negative light. One common
• Developing a detailed groups for sponsorship of events. Leicester Mercury, the Pathfinder is in advance and make sure all unsustainable.
example of negative press input in
communication, information and In Bradford, for example, the challenging the assumption that negative stakeholders in the community
the past has been their involvement • The press is not the only means of
dissemination plan which includes Telegraph and Argus produced an representations of newer communities cohesion programme are signed up
in sensitive and difficult debates over communicating messages, and in
proactive work with the local eight page pull out on a celebratory will sell newspapers in a City where over to key messages. Simplifying a
the allocation of local funding. some instances might not be the
newspaper group. Engaging with event on community cohesion, half the population are of ethnic minority complex issue will be a key factor
Though most funding decisions are most effective route. Think of the
the press before negative issues which showed the work and origin. More localised projects include a in determining success in
taken on the basis of need, it is existing network of contacts as a
become news is an effective commitment of everyone in the youth initiative in partnership with the managing messages around the
sometimes easier and apparently ready-made communications
means of reducing community area to bringing different Leicester Mercury, BBC Radio Leicester programme.
more newsworthy to present them as network. Front line staff, elected
tensions and increasing the level of communities together. and MATV through which young people
favouring one or other community. In • Consider training in communication members and staff in partner
responsible reporting around are given the opportunity to report good
the aftermath of the Bradford, • Using the Web extensively for and publicity for voluntary sector organisations can all play a key role
community cohesion programmes. news on cohesion stories.
Burnley and Oldham disturbances, communication. It is a useful tool participants at the start of your in passing on a positive message
one reason given for poor community • Developing a common for sharing best practice, and programme. Some Pathfinders about community cohesion. Think
relationships was the degree to understanding of the issues and recording and publicising a wide believe in retrospect that issues of them as a resource when
which older communities felt that messages around community range of community information. At around communication should be planning a communication strategy.
newer communities had been singled cohesion with partners and times use of the web can be a considered at the project planning
out for special treatment. This stakeholders. In one Pathfinder a more effective tool for publicity stage, and some allowance should
common perception is one that too media sub-group has been set up purposes than the local press who be made at that early stage for the
often is propagated by the local and to advise the steering group on may filter messages through a lens challenges involved in
national press. communications issues and to of their own. communicating such a complex
develop effective media messages. message.
Sustainability
Underpinning all community cohesion initiatives is the idea that it is possible to change the
way people view the world. Pathfinder programmes, though very different in nature, are all
geared to changing the perceptions within their area, tackling prejudices and ignorance
around communities with different histories, and creating a more positive perception of the
changing nature of British society. There is tacit acceptance that changes in attitude and
perception do not happen overnight. The Pathfinder’s 18-month timescale provides a kick-
start to community cohesion programmes, but in order to be truly successful these
programmes must become part of mainstream service delivery. The potential sustainability
of Pathfinder programmes is an important emerging theme for the programme, even at this
early stage.
Images supplied
Courtesy of the
Home Office
This theme is strongly linked to those At a more local level a number of • Developing a toolkit that helps
of engagement with political, different approaches have been mainstream service managers
voluntary sector and community adopted to plan for the long term incorporate community cohesion
KIRKLEES PATHFINDER is providing • Be clear about the expectations SOUTHWARK PATHFINDER has used the
leaders. Strong ‘ownership’ of the sustainability of community cohesion initiatives into mainstream service
training for front line workers, managers, and limitations of the programme. existing network of youth providers to
community cohesion agenda is seen programmes. Agencies might plans. This approach has been
community activists and elected The Pathfinder is not a universal increase the sustainability of the
as the best way of generating long- consider: adopted by Rochdale Pathfinder as
Members, so that the skills, panacea to all community cohesion Pathfinder programme. They have further
term support for the programmes. a means of increasing the level of
• Incorporating community cohesion understanding and confidence produced issues. Of paramount importance is developed a partnership with statutory
Establishing linkages between understanding and buy in to the
into the Local Strategic will assist in the process of embedding making sure that other partners and voluntary sector agencies and Save
mainstream services and community community cohesion agenda.
10 Partnership’s agenda, establishing 11 and sustaining the Community Cohesion and agencies are signed up to the the Children to support the
cohesion projects is similarly
it as a cross cutting issue that programme. They have also linked the agenda and that there is sufficient mainstreaming of direct youth
identified as a means of increasing
transcends traditional service programme directly into the local Council buy in from political and community involvement in policy and practice in
the potential sustainability of PETERBOROUGH PATHFINDER have used
delivery barriers. Area Committee process, so that as leaders to ensure support for sectors such as health, education and
programmes. And on a more pre-existing consultation arrangements in
lessons are learnt and action plans initiatives once funding stops. policing. Southwark Pathfinder believes
strategic level, establishing the • Mapping complementary activity the voluntary sector and key agencies
developed locally they are incorporated that where youth is the focus of
common ground between the and joining up these activities at a such as the Police to provide a ‘gateway’ • Use the community cohesion
directly into local planning processes. community cohesion, adults must learn to
community cohesion agenda and local level. This approach has been into local communities. This is an agenda to build better channels of
share power with young people. Their
complementary central government adopted by Stoke on Trent effective approach in this area due to communication between services.
mainstreaming initiative is designed to
policies such as Neighbourhood Pathfinder as a means of recognised capacity issues within smaller In some areas, the Pathfinder
Learning experiences bring young people directly into the
Renewal and Housing Market addressing the complexities of community based organisations- building Programme has been used as a
planning process, simultaneously
Renewal is seen as a means of delivering a community cohesion on existing mechanisms for consultation Key themes are already emerging means of opening better channels
increasing the sustainability of
integrating community cohesion programme which must align to makes efficient use of the time around learning to mainstream of communication between Council
community cohesion initiatives with
programmes into longer term funding various national programmes. commitment from community groups. community cohesion. and Borough Councils, in others it
empowerment of young people.
streams. The outcome in Peterborough has been has been used to integrate
• Involving the Neighbourhood • It is not project activities per se that
the involvement in the Pathfinder of new voluntary and community sector
Renewal Team, the Police, and need to mainstream. For
participants and communities, and input on community cohesion into
Connexions in the early stages of programmes to be truly sustainable
BURY PATHFINDER is working with already evidence of aspects of the mainstream planning systems such
programme development. Getting Pathfinders should be seeking to
mainstream education providers to bring programme being picked up by as the local strategic partnership.
statutory agencies on board at an engender an underlying
community cohesion into schools and mainstream funding. Cambridgeshire
early stage makes it easier to find understanding of the issues and • Involve the local housing authority
onto the curriculum. To counteract poor Constabulary has funded the appointment
mainstream routes for funding how these should form part of all and other housing providers in your
perceptions of asylum seekers in the of a Hate Crime Co-ordinater based in the
community cohesion initiatives. Council (and other partner) programme wherever possible.
media and the misrepresentation of facts Peterborough Race Equality Council after
services. This message is equally Dissatisfaction around housing can
about asylum issues, staff at Radcliffe • In Neighbourhood Renewal Fund the need for this post was identified
applicable to those embarking on reinforce community divisions and
High School taught lessons to areas, synchronising community through community engagement.
community cohesion projects undermine community
mainstream pupils during Refugee Week, cohesion planning cycles with NRF
without additional funding. Working development aimed at promoting
to encourage empathy with the situation cycles
out how the principles of community cohesion. Recognising
of asylum seeker pupils. The Pathfinder
• Include a limited policy and review community cohesion interact with this potential hurdle has been a key
also funded production of a resource
strand within plans for community the mainstream should be a key lesson for some Pathfinder
pack for schoolteachers to deliver future
cohesion. This approach has been element of projects. participants.
lessons on asylum issues. The Pathfinder
adopted by Sandwell Pathfinder
intends to buy in a Citizenship Pack for
who have set aside limited funding
local schools providing the impetus for
for a review of cross cutting issues
community cohesion issues to be
such as housing, education, and
included as part of the mainstream
community safety.
curriculum for the foreseeable future.
Conclusion
One of the outcomes of the Community Cohesion Pathfinder programme will be a body of
learning which charts the problems, challenges and successes of programmes and
initiatives at different stages of the Programme. This report sets out some early examples
of learning and of good practice, six months into this 18-month programme. As a learning
document, we have largely concentrated on practical issues that will assist other agencies
in putting together workable and sustainable programmes of work around community
cohesion principles.

Some areas of learning and • Linking cohesion work effectively to Pathfinders Shadow Pathfinders
experience, however, are unlikely to complementary national and local
be resolved until the end of this activities must form part of any
Programme and beyond. As areas of community cohesion programme. Bury Pathfinder Barnet Shadow Pathfinder
discussion, we conclude with a brief There is a strong feeling amongst
Charnwood Pathfinder Bradford Shadow Pathfinder
resume of these issues, as identified Pathfinders that central
by the Pathfinder participants government could do more to East Lancashire Partnership Calderdale Shadow Pathfinder
themselves. It is useful to rehearse deliver a ‘joined up’ approach to
Kirklees Pathfinder Gateshead Shadow Pathfinder
these issues simply because they community cohesion. Better co-
place this programme in the context ordination between key initiatives Leicester Pathfinder Liverpool Shadow Pathfinder
of wider governmental policy such as Beacon Councils,
Mansfield Pathfinder Oldham Shadow Pathfinder
initiatives. These recurring themes Neighbourhood Renewal, and the
12 1
are: work of the DFES on youth would Middlesbrough Pathfinder Preston Shadow Pathfinder
assist local deliverers in
• Explaining the concept of Peterborough Pathfinder Redbridge Shadow Pathfinder
implementing their programmes.
community cohesion in simple,
There should be clear channels of Plymouth Pathfinder Slough Shadow Pathfinder
meaningful and direct terms
communication between central
underpins many of the engagement Rochdale Pathfinder Tameside Shadow Pathfinder
government and local agencies so
issues identified in this report.
that central government could learn Sandwell Pathfinder Tewkesbury Shadow Pathfinder
Some Pathfinders have worked
from integration of services at a
towards finding a definition that is Southwark Pathfinder Tower Hamlets Shadow Pathfinder
local level.
most appropriate to local
conditions. Many now feel that Stoke on Trent Pathfinder Thurrock Shadow Pathfinder
using the LGA’s generic definition West London Alliance
We expect these themes to remain
would be the best starting point,
key issues for the Pathfinders as
with any local revisions arising
they develop their programmes Further details of Pathfinder contacts, along with case studies from the
through the engagement with
over the next year. Pathfinder Action Learning Programme are available from the Community
stakeholders as direct result of
Cohesion Website at www.communitycohesion.gov.uk
programme initiatives. Setting out
to create a new definition is too
time-consuming and confusing for
many participants.