Highest Brexit majority area works for social cohesion
The Common Good Fund has funded a project in Boston. The grants fund, which aims to address recent and long entrenched tensions in local areas between faith and ethnic communities, has funded a project in an area where 76% voted to leave the EU - one of the highest majorities in the country.
St Botolph's Church will be running the Boston Connected: The Community Table project throughout February. The project will offer an opportunity to provide 60 participants free lunches every Tuesday at The Coffee Shop, which is completely run by volunteers and overseen by staff and clergy. The project will culminate with a Festival of Pancakes on Shrove Tuesday.
The project will bring people together from White British and Eastern European backgrounds, including people from Russian, Lithuanian and Polish communities. It is hoped that a shared community space will lead to sharing of stories and experiences that will build relationships. Boston Connected: The Community Table, hopes that these initial conversations will provide potential for further projects and initiatives.
Team Rector, Revd Alyson Buxton, speaks of the aims of The Community Table project, saying: "Through the building of positive relationships it is hoped that trust and friendship will be built between different communities and individuals. We hope this project will enable and facilitate cascading connections to build authentic partnerships that will set the agenda for community cohesion, integration and diminish potential isolation. This will enable long-term relational interactions and partnerships that will work towards the development of a flourishing multi-cultural town where people, regardless of background, feel free to claim the public space of mutual respect and trust so that everyone who lives in Boston has a place at the 'table'."
The Common Good Fund is a new grants fund from the Near Neighbours programme, and offers small grants as seed funding for local groups and organisations. The Near Neighbours programme has been running across England since 2011, working in diverse areas to unite communities as they work together on social action projects.
The Common Good Fund focuses on areas where there has been significant migration from European countries and settlement of asylum seekers and refugees; and areas where networks and/or news reports have indicated there are tensions.