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Durham University

Department of Sociology

Sociology Department Staff

Publication details for Dr Andrew Orton

Orton, A. (2008). Evaluating Cross-Community Work in Holme Wood: Making Connections?

Author(s) from Durham


This report shares the learning from a local project carried out by the Active Faith Communities Programme which was designed to improve cross-cultural relationships on Holme Wood, an outer-city estate in Bradford. With policy increasingly concerned with finding ways to promote cohesion and meaningful interaction between different groups, this report considers the possibilities and challenges for practice in a particular setting. Holme Wood has traditionally been populated by people from white British ethnic backgrounds. This is gradually changing through a small and diffuse inflow of newcomers from different cultural backgrounds.
Key findings include:
the importance of taking into account the local context when designing interventions to improve cross-community relationships;
the tendency of ‘newcomers’ to the estate who were from different cultural backgrounds to be isolated;
the importance of bringing these isolated newcomers together for mutual support, while also developing their opportunities for wider relationships;
the significance of the challenges inherent in this work, including:
– the time-consuming nature of the relationship building work which is necessary to do this work effectively;
– potential tensions between work which aims to develop opportunities for mutual support between newcomers and work which aims to connect these newcomers with the more established residents and organisations.