Cohesion

Giving Hope, Changing Lives

Launched in March 2012, the Birmingham Social Inclusion Process (SIP) was led by the Bishop of Birmingham, supported by the University of Birmingham and guided by a steering group of city leaders and influencers.

Through the Process the Bishop aimed to bring together the combined energy, resources and wisdom of the city’s key organisations and leaders to address fundamental social and economic issues in the city in order to improve opportunities and aspirations for all and especially those who are most disadvantaged.

Read the White Paper, Making Birmingham an Inclusive City, containing the final recommendations from the Birmingham Social Inclusion Process, Giving Hope Changing Lives.

Fair Brum: Giving Hope Changing Lives

Further information about the Birmingham’s Social Inclusion Process can be found here: http://fairbrum.wordpress.com/

The University's role in the Social Inclusion Process

In undertaking its role in the Social Inclusion Process the University has engaged academics, mainly, but not exclusively, from the College of Social Sciences in framing and developing the key lines of enquiry (KLOES) for the Process.

In March 2012 an event was held to bring together those academics with the officers of the council who were charged with the role of supporting the SIP. This first Social Inclusion Sandpit looked at the wide-ranging data held by the city council about the economic and social makeup of the city, its inhabitants and workforce, and its economy.

It also examined the emerging key lines of enquiry and identified appropriate academics to support each of these:

  • Diversity of Place
  • Diversity of People
  • Wellbeing
  • Young People
  • Inclusive economic Growth

At a second sandpit in April 2012 which now also involved city Champions for each of the KLOEs, academics presented relevant research to underpin the development of the framing questions and key issues for each of the KLOES.

From this point, individual academics worked with KLOE reference groups taking evidence from across the city, by interviews, site visits, seminars and a range of community engagement activities to gather ideas about how Birmingham might tackle its most disadvantaged

Academics involved included

Diversity of Place: Lisa Trickett, Peter Lee

Diversity of People:  Chris Allen, Jenny Phillimore

Wellbeing:  Jerry Tew

Young People: Helen Dickinson

Inclusive economic Growth: Jon Bryson, Lisa Trickett

Lisa Trickett represented the University on the SIP Steering Group, and co-ordinated the University’s contribution to the Process, together with Helen Dickinson, Director of the Public Service Academy.

Work continued in individual KLOE reference groups throughout the Summer and into the Autumn term, and in October 2012 a Green Paper on the Social Inclusion Process was published.

The paper outlined seven commitments to social inclusion with recommendations for action underpinning each one. The commitments are:

  1. Support families and children out of poverty
  2. Embrace super-diversity
  3. Protect the most vulnerable
  4. Connect people and places
  5. Create a city that values children and young people
  6. Empower people to shape their neighbourhood
  7. Address safety, isolation and loneliness

The commitments and recommendations are set out in the Green Paper, Making Birmingham an Inclusive City.

These commitments and recommendations were examined in a series of workshops at a Social Inclusion Process Summit – Making Birmingham an Inclusive City – in November 2012, where Councillor John Cotton announced that the City Council was establishing a Social Inclusion Challenge Unit to work with partners across all sectors to drive the work for change forward.