Our History

The Linking Network started in 2001 after the civil unrest in Bradford. Two deputy head teachers wanted to find ways to support their children to meet, talk and reflect together on their communities.

Since 2001 this work has grown England-wide. This has been a gradual process as communities across the country have heard about our work, recognised the value that linking can have for young people in their area and have joined our network.

We now work in 29 different areas around the country, reaching thousands of schools, to deliver our programmes. These are supported by our wealth of resources for the classroom and SMSC training and support.

A few key milestones from our journey


The first 2 schools link in Bradford in the wake of civil disturbances


The Pears Foundation commences funding enabling The Linking Network to secure core staff and devise a strategy for reaching out to and supporting new areas to join the network.


The Linking Network has grown to 17 areas across England. 


Investment from the 3 way funding partnership from Pears Foundation, The Department for Education and the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government enable us to expand into 9 new areas.


Through a partnership with My Home Life, The Linking Network makes its first intergenerational links between schools and care homes in Bradford. Alongside this The Linking Network is an expert partner supporting England-wide intergenerational linking work in a further 9 areas delivered by a coalition of local partners.


With the arrival of Covid, The Linking Network rapidly transferred all work to remote work and supported schools to test and learn the best ways to use remote and digital activities to achieve our aims.


Bristol joins the network in the wake of the Coulston Statue protests in order to support young people across the city to reflect on the experience and build belonging.

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