Britain faces challenges. Let’s find answers.

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Creating a better Britain

Engage Britain trusts that together we can create a better Britain. We, the people living in this country, must be at the heart of finding ways forward on the biggest challenges we face. Our nation is at its best when we engage with each other – great ideas come from combining our different views, knowledge and experiences. Together we need to test these ideas, finding ways forward that both reach across divides and improve lives. And we must work together to put these ways forward into action. This is how we will make Britain a better place for us all to live.

We want to find ways forward on the biggest challenges facing our country. Early work suggests we all feel strongly about health, poverty, the environment and immigration. Share your views about which challenges matter most to you.

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Concern about our health and care services unites us all. This was obvious before the Covid-19 pandemic – improvements in how we organise and fund health and care are now even more pressing than ever. Our first project will bring together as many people as possible from across the country to find solutions.

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We need a new approach to find new answers

Britain faces a host of challenges that should have been addressed decades ago – such as sustainably funding health and care, providing opportunities for families living in poverty and protecting the environment. Some challenges we know are fundamentally divisive, like immigration. Others, like the coronavirus crisis, affect us all whilst highlighting the problems we’ve left to fester.

Our approach needs to change. We are perfectly capable of understanding the challenges we face, of engaging decently with each other despite our differences and of finding sustainable ways forward that reach across divides. We need everyone to get involved in making vital decisions about our lives and our society. We need to act now. It’s no longer just an option – it’s essential.

Finding answers by embracing our differences

We need to build lasting solutions – not just patch up and paint over, but find sustainable ways forward. In local communities across our country, people are already providing radical, simple answers in tackling seemingly impossible problems. We need to transfer this energy and ingenuity to tackling the challenges facing the entire nation.

We’ll bring together a range of different methods to support everyone who wants to be involved. Where the problem is rooted in our differences of opinion, we’ll be using deliberative techniques to build on the things we agree on. Where the problem needs new solutions, we’ll use design techniques to bring together people with different knowledge and experience to reinvent services. Where key voices have been excluded, we’ll make sure we’re all equally involved in finding answers.

Through all this, we’ll show that our different experiences, opinions and ways of solving problems actually improve debates and help create imaginative, practical and radical responses to the uncertainty of our times.

Why Engage Britain?

Hear what people thought about discussing the challenges we face

Engage Britain hosted a series of discussions across the country about the challenges we all face: here’s what people thought about the experience.

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What Nola Edwards learnt campaigning in her local community

Nola Edwards is Chair of Foxhill Residents Association, Bath. Here’s what she’s learnt while campaigning to protect her local community.

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Why Jon Clemo believes Norfolk’s approach should be adopted nationally

Jon Clemo is Chief Executive of Community Action Norfolk. Here’s why he believes their collaborative, local approach needs to be adopted nationally.

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Julian McCrae on why he believes Engage Britain is vital for our future

Julian McCrae is the founding Director of the new charity, Engage Britain. Here’s why he believes what we’re doing is vital for our future.

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Our people

Julian McCrae
Director

I’ve spent 25 years in the world of public policy creation, including five years as Deputy Director of the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, where I led the unit’s work on social mobility, welfare policies and economic growth.

Sadly, I’ve seen it fail time and time again on issues from housing to immigration. The biggest lesson I’ve learnt is that real ideas, important ideas, don’t start in government. They start with real people, in civic society.

I helped to set up Engage Britain because I truly believe that when we gather people from all parts of society ­– and commit to listening and learning from their experiences – we can create ideas that work and make real change.

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Binita Mehta-Parmar
Head of Partnerships

I’ve spent a decade working in strategic communications, with a background in politics, charity governance and building non-profit start-up teams. Now, I’m leading the development of partnerships, networks and relationships for Engage Britain.

Having represented my community as a local Councillor, I sincerely believe in putting citizens and communities at the centre of compassionate and sustainable policymaking.

The prospect of helping solve the biggest challenges facing us, at a time when we really need solutions that bridge divides, sincerely excites me. I look forward to working with you to build a positive future for our country.

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Rachel Stein
Director of Engagement and Communications

Throughout my career, I’ve helped brands connect with their audiences through their communications. Most recently, as Executive Director at Stonewall, I’ve worked alongside different people and communities to build campaigns that improve equality and result in tangible change.

Before that I worked for Metro Bank, leading on communications that helped to turn customers into fans and advocates.

As the world around us changes, so must the way we engage and communicate with the people around us. That’s why I’m excited to be joining the Engage Britain team. I firmly believe that by putting people’s passion, enthusiasm and experience front and centre, it’s possible to tackle some of the biggest issues facing our society. And most importantly, create meaningful change.

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