In November 2018, Faith Minister Lord Bourne visited the Stockwood Discovery Centre in Luton to see the Schools Linking Programme in action.
Members of The Linking Network team from Bradford joined the Luton team which supports local schools in running their own Schools Linking Programme which brings together children from different backgrounds.
This extract is taken from a press release published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on their website https://www.gov.uk/government/news/lord-bourne-encourages-schools-to-celebrate-diversity-and-build-inclusive-relationships
‘The minister joined pupils from a wide variety of backgrounds taking in part in a Schools Linking Programme at the Centre.
Jointly funded with the Department for Education with support from the Pears Foundation, the Schools Linking Programme currently engages with 18,000 children and young people from different backgrounds across the country and provides sustained opportunities for them to meet, build new relationships, work together and contribute to their wider neighbourhoods.
These opportunities include taking part in competitive sports to boost team-working skills, creating collaborative artwork and community volunteering.
Faith Minister Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth said:
Schools Linking is a great example of how children and young people from different backgrounds can come together to meet, learn and share interests that help them prepare for life in modern Britain and make them great citizens of the future.
The government is determined to support programmes such as these to ensure young people from all backgrounds have the opportunity to take part in challenging and rewarding experiences.
In March this year, the government set out an ambitious long-term plan of action to tackle the root causes of poor integration and create a stronger, more united Britain.
The Integrated Communities Strategy green paper, to which £50 million will be committed over the next 2 years, sought views on the government’s bold proposals to boost English language skills, increase opportunities for more women to enter the workplace, and promote British values and meaningful discussion between young people.’