Policy paper

2010 to 2015 government policy: community integration

Updated 8 May 2015

This is a copy of a document that stated a policy of the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government. The previous URL of this page was https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/bringing-people-together-in-strong-united-communities. Current policies can be found at the GOV.UK policies list.


We want to achieve more integrated communities and to create the conditions for everyone to live and work successfully alongside each other.

Integration is a vital local issue and requires a local response. Although government has an important role to play, we want local communities to identify the issues which affect their area and to shape their own response.


We believe that people can come together in strong, united communities if we encourage and support them to:

  • have shared aspirations, values and experiences
  • have a strong sense of mutual commitments and obligations, promoting personal and social responsibility
  • take part in local and national life and decision-making
  • fulfil their potential to get on in life
  • challenge extremism and hate crime

We believe that action to achieve strong communities is usually most effective when it is led by the people it most concerns. But in a few cases government also provides funding and support for activities to demonstrate ways to promote community integration. These projects are in partnership with businesses, voluntary organisations and communities.

Some of the main projects we support are listed below. You can see also see a full list of projects.

Promoting shared aspirations, values and experiences

We’re supporting national Inter Faith Week, held every November, to bring people of different faiths together to serve their communities and learn more about each other.

We’re providing £310,000 to lay commemorative paving stones for Victoria Cross recipients from the First World War.

Promoting responsibility

Together in Service is a 3-year programme to celebrate and link up faith-based social action. A Together in Service fund of up to £300,000 over 3 years is available in the form of small grants for multi-faith projects. Up to £1,000 will be on offer to help get local projects off the ground in areas where there may be a lack of confidence or knowledge in undertaking volunteering work in a multi-faith way.

Helping people realise their potential

On 15 January 2013, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles made a speech in which he stressed how fundamental being able to communicate in English is to enabling individuals to fulfil their potential, to get on and to participate in their local communities. He announced a competition for community-based English language teaching organisations to bid for a share of up to £6 million in government grant funding. The 6 winning bids were announced in November 2013.

Helping people take part in local and national life and decision-making

We’re giving young people a chance to work together and learn about responsibility, through a £10 million grant over 2 and a half years to support Youth United, whose member organisations include the Scouts Association, Girlguiding UK, Army Cadets,, Volunteer Police Cadets and St John Ambulance. Youth United will set up 400 new cadets units, recruit 2,700 adult volunteers and provide 10,800 more places for young people.

Tackling extremism and hate crime

We are committed to ensuring that everyone has the freedom to live free from hostility or harassment.

Projects aimed at tackling extremism and intolerance include:

Promoting faith and the freedom to pray

Faith groups are involved in a huge range of activities and projects to improve communities, and we are providing them support to promote and celebrate their faith.

We have given all major local councils in England a ‘general power of competence’. This should give them the freedom to include prayers as part of their formal meetings, if they wish.

Reducing inequalities faced by Gypsies and Travellers

We set up a dedicated ministerial group in November 2010 to coordinate action across government to help improve the life chances of Gypsies and Travellers. In April 2012, the group published a progress report that includes 28 commitments from across government that will help service providers to work more effectively with these communities.

A series of infographics is available which illustrates the work we are doing to unite communities


The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) published Creating the conditions for integration in February 2012. This set out our approach to creating integrated communities, which is achieved in part through promoting social mobility and equality of opportunity.

Social mobility

In April 2011, the government published its social mobility strategy.

In May 2012, we published an update on the social mobility strategy.


In December 2010, the government published its equality strategy.

On 22 May 2012, we published a progress report on the equality strategy. This describes how the new approach to equality is beginning to make a difference.

Who we’re working with

Creating the conditions for integration sets out our views on what is important to promote integrated communities, but does not represent the end of the process. We will continue to discuss our approach with partners and help them to take action in response to the issues raised in the document.

Bills and legislation

The Localism Act 2011 introduced new rights for communities to take greater control in their local areas.

The Equality Act 2010 bans unfair treatment and helps achieve equal opportunities in the workplace and in wider society.

Appendix 1: community-based English language learning

This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.

Having a good grasp of English is essential to an individual’s ability to integrate into British society, to participate and to get on in life. Improved English language skills not only help people interact with others, they support other social and economic benefits such as employment, participation in voluntary activity and improved educational attainment.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles challenged charities, businesses, local authorities and the adult education and English language sector to come up with innovative ideas to help more people in their communities learn English.

Six projects were chosen through a 2-stage open competition. The 6 winning bids who would each receive a share of the £6 million funding were announced in November 2013.

The 6 projects have now started work and will reach over 24,000 adults with the lowest levels of English and who are most isolated because of it - largely Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Somali women. They will cover our English language target areas: broadly east and north London, east Birmingham, Manchester, towns along the M62 in Yorkshire and Cheshire, Slough, Luton and Bristol. They demonstrate a broad range of ideas and approaches to learning. These include:

  • reaching learners through faith communities and holding classes in mosques, churches and gurdwaras
  • focusing classes around practical themes, such as engaging with public services, understanding utility bills and social activities such as cooking and gardening
  • training staff in supermarkets to be ‘sympathetic listeners’ to encourage learners to practise their English in-store - badges will make trained listeners easily identifiable

  • developing new software; using technology such as ‘TecBooks’, and using the latest teaching methods in community settings
  • involving learners in the design of course material based on their lives and interests
  • informal conversation classes and mentoring schemes with local volunteers

The projects delivering community-based English language courses are:

E3: English through Social, Economic and Community Action

  • uses an open online course and basic tablets to teach English language alongside face-to-face social, economic and community-based activities, running in 5 London boroughs - find out more on their website

FaithAction: Creative English

  • uses an interactive role play teaching style to teach English and improve learners’ confidence, coupled with activities to increase participation; classes will be delivered in familiar venues across 9 faiths throughout England - find out more on their website

Manchester Adult Education Services: #TalkEnglish

  • teaches through face-to-face classes, mentoring and community activities; local shop staff being trained as ‘sympathetic listeners’ to encourage learners to try out their English and mentors being recruited to support learners - find out more on their website

London LEAFEA: Speaking English with Confidence (SPEC)

  • 1,000 volunteers will lead informal conversational language clubs in local venues and varied outreach activities, including evening and women only sessions

TimeBank: Talking Together

  • provides teaching that focuses on everyday English; the project uses volunteers to teach and mentors to help learners practise while building links to local business and community - find out more on their website

Tinder Foundation: English My Way

  • provides online learning, tutor-led sessions and ‘Learning Circles’ delivered in community venues; BBC Learning English and the British Council are partners - find out more on their website

We will be sharing information about the various approaches to support strong evaluation and spread best practice. Go to the Learn English blog to find regular progress updates, case studies and submissions from learners.

How these projects were chosen

The funded projects were chosen through a 2-stage competition. On 7 February 2013 we held an open day in the department. You can read the presentations from the open day on the competition background, the 2-stage process and the purpose of the competition.

The stage 1 prospectus launched an expression of interest round.

We received 130 expressions of interest.

Stage 2 of the competition began in May 2013 when the stage 2 prospectus was published. This stage required entrants to complete a full, detailed business case for their project proposals.

The winners were announced in November 2013.

Further information

For more information about this programme, please see the Learn English Tumblr blog.

Appendix 2: projects to support strong communities

This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.

Government is taking action when it can make a genuine difference. Action is usually most effective when it is led by the people it most concerns. But in a few cases government can, and should, promote targeted activities which can make a real difference, acting in partnership with businesses, voluntary organisations and communities.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) does not run a national programme to deliver integration across the country, but has, and is supporting projects which set direction and pioneer innovative ideas in order to encourage leadership and mobilise action at a local level.

These projects build on the widespread celebration of national identity seen during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympic Games and form part of a wider campaign promoting the importance of community participation.

Projects to promote common ground

Inter Faith Week

National Inter Faith Week is held every November by the Inter Faith Network, to bring people of different faiths together to serve their communities and learn more about each other. DCLG is investing £440,000 over 2 years in the Inter Faith Network to promote strong and sustainable relations between different faith communities.

World War 1 Victoria Cross graves restoration

DCLG is providing £100,000 to support the restoration and maintenance of Victoria Cross recipients’ graves from World War 1. The project aims to restore all of these graves in need of repair. Headstones will be cleaned or replaced so that the final resting place of those who received the highest military award for valour is a truly fitting tribute to their sacrifice.

World War 1 battlefield visits

DCLG and the Department for Education are providing £5.3 million for 2 school children and 1 teacher from every English state-aided school to visit World War 1 battlefields. Children will link this trip with their local area history.

World War 1 Victoria Cross paving stones

We’re providing £310,000 to lay commemorative paving stones for Victoria Cross recipients from the First World War.

World War 1 Curzon lectures

We’ve funded 50 lectures to help 5,000 people learn about the contribution of Commonwealth soldiers during the First World War.

Projects to promote responsibility

Together in Service

A 3-year programme of faith-based social action building on the success of A Year Of Service in 2012. Every month the social action of a different faith community will be celebrated and new multi-faith projects will be encouraged. It will be supported by a Together in Service fellowship of willing volunteers and a small grants fund to kick-start new inter faith projects.

Youth United

We’re giving young people a chance to work together and learn about responsibility and self-discipline, through a £10 million grant over 2 and a half years to support Youth United, whose member organisations include the Scouts Association, Girlguiding UK, Army Cadets, Volunteer Police Cadets and St John Ambulance. Youth United will set up 600 new cadets units, recruit 2,700 adult volunteers and provide 10,800 more places for young people.

Projects to support mobility

Asian cuisine programme (Mastara Chef)

This industry-led programme:

  • supports a pillot programme to provide 4 scholarships for students to study culinary arts management with a focus on Asian cuisine at the University of West London
  • supports a broader programme to raise the profile of the sector through the Mastara Chef campaign, encouraging young people from different ethnic backgrounds to see the offer of rewarding careers options

Community-based English language competition

We’re providing £6 million of funding up to June 2015 to promote community-based English language learning – shared between 6 winning projects who will reach 24,000 adults with the lowest levels of English.

Industrial Cadets

We support the Industrial Cadets Scheme, enthusing 800 young people about a career in industry through short placements with 25 leading industrial firms.

Opening Doors

The Opening Doors partnership is establishing an enterprise development programme to train young unemployed and socially disadvantaged people in Haringey, Brent and Croydon to be entrepreneurs.

The Enterprise Challenge

Working with private sector partners, Mosaic’s Enterprise Challenge is a realistic business scenario where young people develop and market a new product. The Enterprise Challenge has engaged around 5,000 students in 116 schools across the country.

Projects to support participation

Near Neighbours

We’re providing £8.5 million to the Church Urban Fund’s Near Neighbours project to get people of different faiths working together on projects to improve their neighbourhood. So far over 570 grants have been awarded.

Our Big Gig

We’re working with Superact to deliver a national mass-participation musical event from the 11 to 13 July 2014, together with targeted support to selected priority areas over a longer period. The aim is to bring together people from diverse communities and encourage local participation in music on an on-going basis.

Post Office Community Enterprise Fund

Together with the Post Office, we are funding 25 innovative schemes which enhance the role of post offices as community hubs to support local groups, people and businesses.

Strengthening Faith Institutions

We are launching a new programme to boost the capacity of faith groups. We are looking for an organisation or consortium with the vision, capability and credibility to help strengthen and support faith institutions. Interested organisations are invited to an event on 21 January 2015 to discuss how this programme can best support groups of all faiths.

Projects to support tackling extremism and intolerance

Anne Frank Trust UK

We’ve provided £210,000 to the Anne Frank Trust which challenges all forms of prejudice and discrimination among 20,000 young people, and inspires them to become active and responsible members of their community.

Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT)

DCLG provides almost £1 million to HMDT to raise awareness of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. They support local organisations to hold their own activities for Holocaust Memorial Day and help learn the lessons of the past to create a safer future. HMDT 2014 was the most successful campaign to date with over 2,400 local projects running across the UK.

Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks (Tell MAMA)

We funded the set up of Tell MAMA, the first dedicated organisation for monitoring, recording and reporting anti-Muslim hate crime. Tell MAMA also provides support to victims of hate crime.

Prime Minister’s Holocaust Commission

We’re supporting the Prime Minister’s Commission of Enquiry to investigate how best to commemorate the Holocaust and to teach future generations in light of lack of first hand testimony.

Remembering Srebrenica

This project raises awareness of the Srebrenica genocide, to teach the consequences of hatred and intolerance.

Show Racism the Red Card

This project is to run workshops for 9,400 11-to-18-year-olds in schools across England, to deliver a programme of work designed to combat the influence of the far right on young peoples’ attitudes and behaviours.

Appendix 3: Victoria Cross commemorative paving stones

This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.

In August 2013, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced a campaign to honour Victoria Cross recipients from the First World War. As part of this, commemorative paving stones will be laid in the birth place of Victoria Cross recipients to:

  • honour their bravery
  • provide a lasting legacy of local heroes within communities
  • enable residents to gain a greater understanding of how their area fitted into the First World War story

A total of 628 Victoria Crosses were awarded during the First World War:

  • 482 Victoria Crosses were awarded to UK and Ireland born recipients
  • 145 were awarded to servicemen who fought for Britain, but were born overseas
  • 1 person was awarded the Victoria Cross twice during the First World War

See the full list of Victoria Cross recipients.

Attend a Victoria Cross commemorative event

The first Victoria Cross commemorative paving stones were laid on Saturday 23 August 2014 in East Grinstead, Willesden Green, Fraserburgh in Scotland and Dublin, Ireland.

These events commemorated Private Sidney Godley VC, Corporal Charles Garforth VC, Lance Corporal Charles Jarvis VC and Lieutenant Maurice Dease VC who all fought in the Battle of Mons and were the first VCs of the First World War.

All 145 overseas-born recipients of the Victoria Cross were honoured at a private unveiling ceremony at the National Memorial Arboretum on 5 March 2015.

You can find out more about commemorative paving stone events by visiting the website of the local council concerned.

See our interactive map for details on where commemorative paving stones have been laid and infomation on VC recipients.

Follow the stones progress on Twitter #VCpavingstones, and see pictures from the commemorative ceremonies on our Pinterest board.

12 April 2015

  • Private Robert Morrow - Princess Victoria’s Royal Irish Fusiliers - Dungannon, County Tyrone

20 April 2015

  • Brigadier George Roupell - The East Surrey Regiment - Tipperary
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Dwyer - The East Surrey Regiment - Fulham, London

24 April 2015

  • Company Sergeant-Major Frederick William Hall - The Manitoba Regiment, Canadian Expeditionary Force - Kilkenny

25 April 2015

  • Major Cuthbert Bromley - The Lancashire Fusiliers - Seaford, East Sussex
  • Commodore Edward Unwin - SS River Clyde - Fawley, Hampshire
  • Lieutenant George Drewry - SS River Clyde - Forest Gate, London
  • Sergeant Alfred Joseph Richards - The Lancashire Fusiliers - Plymouth, Devonshire
  • Able Seaman William Charles Williams - SS River Clyde - Stanton Lacy, Shropshire
  • Sergeant Frank Edward Stubbs - The Lancashire Fusiliers - Walworth, London
  • Lieutenant-Colonel John Grimshaw - The Lancashire Fusiliers - Abram, Lancashire
  • Major Richard Raymond Willis - The Lancashire Fusiliers - Woking, Surrey
  • Lance-Sergeant William Keneally - The Lancashire Fusiliers - Wexford
  • Petty Officer George McKenzie Samson - SS River Clyde - Carnoustie, Forfarshire

26 April 2015

  • Lieutenant Colonel Charles Doughty-Wylie - The Royal Welch Fusiliers - Theberton, Suffolk
  • Captain Garth Neville Walford - Brigade Major Royal Artillery - Frimley, Surrey
  • Lieutenant William Barnard Rhodes-Moorhouse - Army Co-operation Squadron (Royal Flying Corps) - Knightsbridge, London
  • Staff Sergeant William Cosgrove - The Royal Munster Fusiliers - Aghada, County Cork

Guidelines for councils

We’ve published guidelines for councils to help them decide the appropriate locations, specifications and timing for laying commemorative stones.

The paving stones will be awarded to the local council in which the Victoria Cross recipient was born. The local council working with relatives and the local community will decide where the stone should be laid.

The commemorative stones are a UK-wide initiative and paving stones will be laid in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Those that were born abroad but had strong local connections to a place in the UK will have a paving stone in that place. For those without such connections, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will be organising commemoration in their country of birth. Full details will be announced in due course and no hero will be forgotten.

All Victoria Cross recipients that were born overseas will also be commemorated in the National Memorial Arboretum.

Competition to choose a winning paving stone design

A competition was held to choose a design for the paving stones and this was judged by a panel of 7 experts.

The competition was won by Charlie MacKeith from London whose winning design will feature on all the paving stones that will be laid in communities across the country. The design was unveiled on November 4 2013 at the Army and Navy Club in London.

The commemorative paving stones will be laid in towns across the country over the next 4 years from 2014 until 2018.


For general enquiries on the Victoria Cross paving stone design competition please email: vcpavingstones@communities.gsi.gov.uk