When I took over the portfolio holder role for social inclusion and community cohesion I set out my aim of meeting community groups, increasing communication and encouraging people to be respectful and tolerant of each other.
Over the past 18 months it’s been great to see this happen and long may it continue.
There are many things I’ve enjoyed during this time and I’d like to reflect on a few.
It’s been fantastic to see World Hello Day events go from strength to strength. This is such a simple but effective way of bringing people together – saying ‘hello’ to ten people you wouldn’t normally greet can start some meaningful conversations and help to break down barriers.
Children at Bishop King School even learnt how to say ‘hello’ in different languages. What a brilliant way of teaching them about diversity and different cultures, creating understanding and tolerance.
I can’t wait to see what’s in store for this year’s event, which will take place in November.
Another project that has continued to grow is the SHUSH campaign, which set out to remind people to be quiet on their way home from a night out.
Backed by a number of partners in the city, including West End Residents Association, both universities and their students’ unions, Lincolnshire Police and Lincoln BIG, it isn’t aimed at stigmatising any group of people, but encouraging everyone to be considerate after they’ve enjoyed a night out in the city.
It’s been pleasing to hear from residents that the campaign at the start of the September term, which included spray painting the logo on to paths and handing out pads and pens, had an impact and helped to reduce noise nuisance.
Alongside this, we also handed out ‘Good Neighbour’ leaflets to act as a reminder of how everyone can be respectful to those around them.
We’re now looking to take the SHUSH campaign to other areas of the city and would like to hear from anyone who feels they could benefit from it.
Looking forward to the year ahead, we’ll be turning our attention to a number of wards in the city, seeing what community life is like and how we can help to support it and see it grow.
My aim, and that of those on the Community Cohesion Steering Group, is to continue encouraging people to be respectful and tolerant of each other, regardless of their religion, ethnicity, age or gender.
This is key to a cohesive city that benefits us all.
I want to see people integrated as Lincoln’s rich diversity is something that should rightly be celebrated.
If there’s anything relating to social inclusion and community cohesion that you’d like to talk to me about, please email me at [email protected]