Values were identified as key by Bradford Council given how they underpin and motivate behaviours. They are central to the culture of organisations and to how people in the community think about behaviours, and make decisions and choices.
Dialogue organised within local communities established a strong consensus that a set of shared values is pivotal to building stronger communities. An initiative was developed to identify the shared values that could shape what individuals, groups and organisations do and how they might work together to address key issues.
The initiative is rooted in the ‘Stronger Communities Together Strategy for Bradford District 2018-2023. This is based on four pillars: Getting On, with a focus on employment and addressing economic participation and poverty; Getting Along, with a focus on education and addressing interaction in a context of educational and residential segregation; Getting Involved with a focus on social mixing and addressing community leadership and opportunities to participate in community and civic life; and Feeling Safe, with a focus on perceptions of the other and addressing crime and the fear of crime, with an emphasis on hate crime.
A values statement was co-created through: workshops with Bradford for Everyone Ambassadors, a grouping of community representatives formed as part of the Stronger Communities Together strategy; community engagement activities; a public online consultation; and pop-up consultation events. These were organised over a twelve month period and engaged over 1,400 people. Feedback was gathered from partner organisations in health, police, fire services, housing, voluntary sector organisations and education. The district’s elected representatives were consulted.
The values statement is now being finalised, based on values of: We Respect; We Care; We Share; and We Protect. The framework for behaviour change that shapes this initiative involves: co-creation; education; raising awareness; promoting positive experiences; reminding and encouraging; and ongoing evaluation. Future plans include to: communicate and celebrate the values to a point where they become a social norm; host an online pledge counter to gather support for the values statement; and provide organisations signing up to the values statement with tools to promote a positive culture in-line with these values.
The shared values will strengthen Bradford Council’s work, including in: the Council’s future five-year plan; the city of culture bid by the council; reshaping life after Covid-19; and responding to the Black Lives Matter movement.