The project, Making the links, aims to develop a better understanding of how networks support or hinder people’s capacity and opportunities to cope with and move away from poverty. In particular, the research will explore how different kinds of social relationships connect people from various ethnic communities beyond family, neighbours and friends who share similar backgrounds.
The overall aim of the research is to inform policy and practice so that agencies and communities can better understand and promote positive social networking as a means of enabling access to employment, resources and pathways out of poverty.
The fieldwork is being undertaken in Birmingham, Liverpool and Cumbria and will involve the active participation of those who have moved out of poverty, remain poor, or are at risk of poverty, in understanding the role of social networks and developing recommendations to policy makers in this field.
There will be a particular focus on Chinese, Polish, South East Asian and Somali groups - in long established communities as well as recent arrivals. The research will involve small to medium enterprises developed within these communities and will seek the views of employment/business advisors and other professionals working to address poverty within BME communities.
The project runs until June 2013 and is led by the Third Sector Research Centre at the University of Birmingham. The other partners are Alison Gilchrist, brap, and Praxis CIC.