What is Near Neighbours?

Near Neighbours is funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). It is administered through the Church Urban Fund.

Grants between £250 and £5,000 are available for local groups and organisations who are working to bring together neighbours, to develop relationships across diverse faiths and ethnicities in order to improve their communities. 

Near Neighbours brings people together; breaking down misunderstanding and developing trust, and helps them to act to change their communities for the better.

Near Neighbours has two key objectives

  • Social Interaction- to develop positive relationships in multi faith areas i.e to help people of different faiths get to know and understand each other better.
  • Social Action- to encourage people of different faiths or no faith, to come together for initiatives that improve their local community. 

Why Black Country Near Neighbours?

The districts of Wolverhampton, Dudley, Smethwick & Walsall are together known as the Black country because it was the original home of British heavy industry and manufacturing.  The people are known for their distinctive accent, work ethic, sense of community and strong family.  We have an independence of mind and a directness of speech.  Our openness and friendliness is something to be valued.  Nowadays it is a vibrant place with people of many different cultures, faiths and nations who are here to make a better life for their families.

Many parts of the Black Country are challenged with high unemployment, poor housing and poorer health than other regions.  We all want a better local community and we are the best people to understand the problems and work out how to solve them.  We believe to be really effective to tackle these challenges the different parts of our community that haven’t talked together as much as they could need to get together.  We need to find ways to actively build respect and trust for each other and find a way to make our Black Country a great place for us and our families.

How to get involved in Black Country Near Neighbours


Visit the Near Neighbours website or contact Black Country Near Neighbours Coordinator Ruth BurgessIf you are part of a faith or community group in Walsall, Wolverhampton, Sandwell or Dudley and have an idea to help people in your community get to know each other you can apply for a Near Neighbours Grant.

[email protected]