Who we are
The Cohesion Advisory Group (CAG) is a resource rooted in faith and community experience, initially drawn from Sheffield Faiths Forum and Sheffield BME network. We assist Sheffield City Council and partners in their approach to community cohesion through sharing information, convening themed discussions and contributing to strategic and service development.
Members of the group act in a voluntary capacity, bringing experience, knowledge and understanding of their own and from the wider community. CAG is supported by a consultant facilitator (one a day a week) who co-ordinates events and outreach work.
Cohesion means people living and working in harmony with respect for each other. This requires building good relationships with neighbours and across the city. We recognise that good relations require a commitment to equality and justice. We therefore regard economic opportunity and wellbeing as essential conditions for cohesion.
Working towards cohesion involves:
Building relationships where power is shared on a basis of cooperation and collaboration
Seeing each other as neighbours, recognising similarities and hearing each others’ stories
Taking preventative actions and tackling systemic blockages that result in educational, economic and other inequalities
Encouraging integration alongside addressing issues of differences in development between communities
Managing conflict and talking about difficult things through open and honest discussions.
CAG brings together diverse voices to learn from each other and to act as a sounding board and critical friend to partners.
Over the past 2 years CAG has:
Held regular community learning events where community issues are discussed and actions agreed; updates received on the cohesion planning structures and upcoming agendas and issues.
Held a special meeting to consider responses to an increase in Hate Crime and Incidents following the Referendum Campaign and outcome.
Collaborated with the Equality Hubs to align our work and priorities and increase our joint impact – in particular on Hate Crime reporting and on the relationship between cohesion and the Prevent Strategy.
Conducted a Community Inquiry looking at the possible effects of terrorist attacks on bringing people in Sheffield together or creating divisions
Linked to integration strategy and planning in the city through the Cohesion, Migration and Integration Strategy Group and the Cohesion and Migration Partnership Group. These meetings bring together community, City Council, South Yorkshire Police and other agencies in dialogue.
Met with the Fair City Campaign Advisory Group to align the Fair City Campaign and cohesion strategic priorities.
Input into Sheffield's plan resulting from the Home Office report which highlighted various concerns around cohesion in the city (see Casey Review, 2016)
Supported the creation of Cohesion Sheffield which encourages all sectors of Sheffield to develop action plans to achieve the vision contained in the Cohesion Strategic Framework for Action which CAG worked in co-production with Sheffield City Council to develop. See Cohesion Sheffield for further information.
Acted as a catalyst encouraging more local groups, services and organisations to look at what they do through a cohesion lens, focusing on some of the housing estates and outlying communities where there are relatively low levels of migration but sometimes high levels of Hate Crime.
How we are resourced
The group received a small amount of project funding from Tudor Trust which has provided money to pay for the CAG facilitator and project and admin expenses from June 2017 – 2019.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org