About the Relationships Project
We believe that everything works better when relationships are valued; people are happier and healthier, organisations and services are more efficient and effective, communities are stronger and more resilient. That’s why we are working with others to make it easier for every organisation, service and individual to put relationships at the heart of what they do. To that end, we are:
The case for investing in better relationships
Relationships are essential to all of us, in all walks of life. From schools to GP practices and big businesses to grassroots organisations, everything works better when relationships are nurtured. Find out more about the importance of good relationships through our bank of case studies or our collaborative blog.
“Older people may be most vulnerable to the virus, younger people are shown to be the most vulnerable to lockdown loneliness. […] People sharing time and new experiences builds power and creates solidarity and trust. [… ] If this moment has taught us anything it is that we are all valuable and we are all vulnerable”
“The system asks prison leavers to change their relationship with society but rather than extend a helping hand, society is turning its back. […] Belief in the power of relationships provides hope that we can begin to address stubborn problems like reoffending. From inside our prisons to the places where we live, we need to strengthen human bonds and provide spaces for people to build positive relationships and reach their potential.”
“Our journeys home (leaving and returning) and our stories of belonging (or not) are unique to each of us. Yet our individual narratives also weave into a collective tapestry of relationships and belonging – even as I sometimes feel like I stand by myself, I know I am not alone.”
Highlights from the blog
In brief In July, we published 'Developing the Framework'; an extended blog written by Tony Clements which lays out 10 ways in which local authorities can help community engagement to thrive. In this follow up blog, Tony reflects on the subsequent discussion we hosted...
In this blog post, Immy reflects on our first Relationship Makers programme delivered in partnership with Power to Change. Bringing together a cohort of community businesses over the course of 8 weeks, we connected, reflected and provided one an other with some balm for the chaos that was 2020.
Iona works across civil society, philanthropy and the private sector building collaborations and partnerships with a focus on unlocking the power of good relationships and stronger, better connected communities. In 2016 Iona set up the Jo Cox Foundation and together with Jo’s family and friends campaigned to appoint the world’s first Minister for Loneliness and the development of the Great Get Together.
Kate is a freelance facilitator, trainer and coach. Her background is in education and mental health and her freelance work centres around creating meaningful spaces for learning and human connection. She’s also working with Project Wayfinder as a curriculum designer, creating content for high school students to explore purpose and belonging, and training as a systemic family therapist.
Katie is a self-taught designer, whose work bridges visual, experience and web design. She cut her teeth as co-founder and service designer of Settle, a social enterprise that supports homeless young people moving into their first flat. Katie now works freelance, trying to find the right balance between doing and being.
Romek is collaborating with Relationships Project on the Relationships Heatmap tool. After studying Physics and Neuroinformatics he now focuses on building web applications for social good. He’s passionate about mental health, mindfulness, and learning. In his spare time, he’s working on a prototype of a note-taking app for learning and self-care.
Tony has held senior positions at Newham and Ealing Councils, and is currently Strategic Director for Economy at Hammersmith and Fulham Council. He has previously worked as an expert advisor to Local Government and Housing Ministers. Outside work, Tony enjoys open water swimming and spending time with his two boys.
Zahra has a decade of experience in designing and delivering learning experiences that promote social innovation and sustainable development. She began her career as a service designer and quickly discovered an interest in the intersection between design and learning. In 2017, she became the founder, Chief Exec and Design Director of Enrol Yourself.
Neil believes there is an energy within disagreement and conflict that can be a powerful force for positive change. He helps communities in conflict to find ways to solve real life problems and strengthen human relationships. He is a leader in community mediation and conflict transformation, an Independent Community Mediator, and a Professor in Practice with the After Disasters Network at Durham University.
Catriona Maclay was the Founding Director of The Hackney Pirates (now Literacy Pirates), supporting young people to develop literacy, confidence and perseverance. She was previously a Citizenship teacher in a north London high school, supporting young people to gain the skills, knowledge and experience to be active citizens. She also worked at Ashoka, selecting and supporting social entrepreneurs around the world. She was an inaugural trustee of the Economist Educational Foundation, and is now Director of Sea Change Strategy supporting social change organisations on strategy, organisational development, and management.
We’re grateful to our network of authors who share ideas, challenge our thinking and provide practical support. Click on their name to see their blog posts.
We’re also grateful to our network of collaborators who have fed in to our thinking at various points in time.
Laura Naude and Refugee Action
Looking for support to make your place more relationship-centred? Or interested in collaborating with us in some way? We’d love to hear from you! Drop us a line at email@example.com