Bridge Builder’s Handbook

A guide to building bridges across divides

Over the course of the Covid pandemic, our communities have achieved an extraordinary amount. We’ve met people we have never met before and we’ve gained an insight into how others live down the road. At the same time, we’ve spent an unprecedented amount of time apart and tempers have, understandably, frayed. 

As we move forward, we must focus on healing divisions and building strong, connected communities. We’ve teamed up with Neil Denton and the After Disaster Network at Durham University to create a Handbook to inspire and guide those willing to embark on this journey. 

We’ve built thousands of little bridges which connect us outside of our usual bubbles. These bridges are powerful things – they’re the infrastructure of new friendships and, in aggregate, the engineering of stronger, more resilient communities. The more bridges we can build, the more resilient our communities will be.

Who can be a Bridge Builder?

We hope that anyone who reads this handbook will find it interesting and that it will encourage you to think about difference and disagreement in a new way. You might find it particularly useful if you’re a community connector, a mutual aid group coordinator, or someone who champions cohesion. 

The Handbook will help you: 

Recognise and celebrate the power and impact of the bridges you have already built and the connections you have already made

Identify where your connections with other groups are strong, where they could be stronger and where they are under strain, or yet to be made

Explore practical ideas, ways of working and guiding principles on how to make positive and meaningful connections with different groups

An invitation

This Handbook is very much a work in progress and there are questions we can’t answer without your help. We’d love you to join us in moving this forwards. Together, we believe we can inspire and support a nation of Bridge Builders working to create stronger, more connected communities.