Posted on Monday 20th November

Working together was top of the agenda at a Cheshire Constabulary hosted conference this week.

With recent terror events increasing national tensions and threatening communities, there has never been a greater need for people to get together no matter their faith or background.

That’s why Cheshire Constabulary hosted a ‘We stand together’ conference on Thursday 16 November.

The aim was to bring everyone under one roof to understand and learn lessons from our faith communities in the light of the very real threat of divisiveness.

One hundred and twenty six delegates descended on The MacDonald Portal Hotel in Tarporley to share good practice around work being undertaken in communities across Cheshire and to discuss how we can all work together for the interest of the county.

Speakers included Chief Constable Janette McCormick, Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane, Debra Green, the founding director for the national charity Redeeming Our Communities (ROC) and Andy Glover (ROC).

Chief Constable Janette McCormick said: “Ignorance is not bliss, it’s dangerous - I believe it’s vital for our communities that we understand each other and acknowledge that we all want the same thing, to live without fear in a space that is safe. Lack of knowledge about who our neighbours are creates animosity and leaves society vulnerable to those who want to stoke the fire by peddling misinformation.

“The conference was the ideal opportunity to learn from each other and gave us a valuable insight into experiences and thoughts of all faiths.”

Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane said: “Unless we stand together no matter our religion or beliefs, we risk losing not only who we are as a community, but risk isolating ourselves by increasing our fear.

“This conference was a brilliant way to bring everyone together to show our support for our diverse communities and our commitment across the faiths and non-faiths in standing together in times of adversity. I hope we can take away some of what we learnt today for the greater good.”

Debra Green (ROC) said: ‘We were delighted to be able to partner with Cheshire Constabulary and offer our experience of running over 160 structured community engagement events.

“By bringing together a diverse network of people who care about their community and those who serve the community in the statutory agencies, it produces something very unique and powerful. When those who are passionate about working together to improve their local area, discuss the specific needs of their community, it leads to practical ways of meeting those needs.’