Building good relations

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Co-financed by the European Fund for the Integration of Third Country Nationals

6. Building good relations

6.4 Bringing people together

There are a number of ways to build bridges between individuals and groups within local communities.

6.4.1 Local groups and events

Local migrant community organisations and other third sector organisations have a key role to play in helping establish links with the wider community, for example by organising community events that raise awareness of migrants’ cultures.  When planning such events, you will need to ensure that they are organised in different areas, and are accessible for diverse migrant groups.

You can work with, and provide support to local communities to identify opportunities to bring different people together to celebrate local cultural diversity.  This can also be a good way of reaching out to those who are not currently actively involved in community, or in other third sector activities.  You might want to consider an active outreach approach, working with local schools, employers, and also encouraging those who are already involved to ‘bring a friend’. 

In addition, it might be worth exploring other approaches that might help to bring people from different communities together, including:

  • international sports leagues;
  • community choirs;
  • youth clubs;
  • local lunch clubs.

Case study

To celebrate the diversity of different migrant communities living within Perth and Kinross, the Council promotes a Multi-Cultural Events Programme that provides opportunities to bring together migrants and local communities to celebrate a range of different cultural events and religious festivals throughout the year.

6.4.2 Role of local partnerships

It is also important to look at establishing inclusive local partnerships, for example working through community planning partnerships or local community safety partnerships.  This will help to deliver joined up approaches to service delivery, and to engaging with wider community networks.

Case study 

The Uniting Nations in Scotland (UNIS) project in Glasgow is run by volunteers and is helping to break down barriers and tackle racism faced by refugees when they arrive in Glasgow.  Since it was established, the group has grown and now has members from different backgrounds and nationalities - from Morocco to Sudan.  A police constable from Police Scotland has been working with the group to gain their trust.  Other volunteers meet regularly with refugees to help them fill out paperwork and to discuss their cases.  There are also social occasions, where families and individuals can meet up and share experiences.

Find out more...

We worked jointly with colleagues at the University of Glasgow to explore the social and cultural benefits and costs of migration.

Research by the Polish Cultural Festival Association (PCFA) specifically explores experiences of Polish Scottish integration.