Breaking Boundaries Manchester with Samiya Butt of Manchester City Council

Breaking Boundaries is a three-year programme (2018 –2021) funded by Spirit of 2012, supported by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and The Institute of Community Cohesion (Icoco).

We sat down with Samiya Butt the Prevent & Community Cohesion Coordinator with Manchester City Council to talk all things Breaking Boundaries and Community Cohesion!

1. How did you get involved in Breaking Boundaries?
Through Manchester City Council in my role as Prevent & Community Cohesion Coordinator.
2. How do you support the project, what is your role?
Provide strategic advice on community cohesion issues in the city and help make connections in the Breaking Boundaries areas of work.
3. What would you say has been the most valuable impact or learning you have seen as a result of Breaking Boundaries?
Breaking Boundaries is able to achieve greater impact and outcomes when part of existing partnerships in the area and have the right support and expertise from both statutory and community organisations.
4. What do you feel  communities needs more of to help people from different backgrounds mix together and create a sense of belonging?
Safe space for dialogue and activities (sports is key) and to come together for meaningful things – this will then help to explore each other and different cultures, languages etc but also the things that bring us all together (common concerns and priorities) – allow safe space for difficult discussions and enable critical thinking.
5. How does Breaking Boundaries play a role in that?
Through sporting opportunities enable people to come together, mix, interact, play together, be in a team dynamic regardless of background and increase opportunities to build friendships.
6. What advice would you give to stay connected in your local community during lockdown?
• Get creative – schedule in virtual meet ups via video calling apps.
• Check in on friends and family – set time aside to do this. 
• Don't make conversations all about the coronavirus,
• Have a Netflix party or all start a film at the same time and share thoughts on WhatsApp.
• Join or create a book club.
• Share photos and positive thoughts, jokes, links to music etc.