The Near Neighbours Catalyst programme

Catalyst is an exciting and inspirational free programme for young people. It is aimed at developing creative leaders to act as positive role models in neighbourhoods and communities. Catalyst emphasises the positive contribution which multi-religious and multi-ethnic diversity makes at all levels of society.

Aims and Objectives

The Catalyst programme aims to help people who are 16 - 30:

  1. Develop a positive identity for living in a multi-faith, multi-ethnic Britain.
  2. Develop the skills and experience to play their part in building a strong civil society and enhance their employability.
  3. Develop the confidence and the commitment to act as agents of change in their neighbourhood.


Find out about Catalyst North           

Find out about Catalyst West Midlands         

Find out about Catalyst East Midlands and South



How it works

Catalyst takes place in local communities and is delivered through the Near Neighbours’ network of local partners and faith-based organisations.

The programme has three key phases:

  1. A Recruitment Phase which is on-going in the localities where we work. Participants are recruited with the help of further and higher education institutions, local faith-based organisations and Near Neighbours coordinators. 
  2. A Workshop Phase takes place over four or five days and is offered both residentially and non-residentially with input, reflection and group-work. The workshops cover four main areas which you can find below.
  3. An Alumni Phase provides on-going connection with the programme via events, social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp) and through local networks. The aim of this phase is to maintain a cadre of leaders committed to working together for the common good.

Workshop areas The programme is validated as a Level 2 NVQ by Leicester College.

  1. Faith and Identity - exploring the context of multi-faith, multi-cultural Britain; reflecting on the role of faith in a liberal democracy; exploring the relationship between faith and identity and analysing sources of information.
  2. Building Leadership - exploring leadership styles and providing theoretical models for reflection; exploring ideas about decision-making and leadership; exploring leadership as a community activity.
  3. Supporting Peace – understanding power and conflict; how to handle conflict; mediation and reconciliation, using recent equalities issues as a case study.
  4. Skills for Social Change – communication; financial management; interview skills and jobs workshop; engagement with the Near Neighbours programme.

For more information, read our Catalyst evaluation summary here