Bringing people together!

Shaz Akhtar Black Country Near Neighbours Coordinator

Our Black Country Near Neighbours Coordinator is Shaz Akhtar

Use the button below to contact her


During these strange Covid-19 period, all of our work is focusing on Covid-19 support to Black Country communities.

Between January and March we are expanding our work to support those most at risk from Covid-19.

This support includes:

  • Promoting the latest information about public health, personal safety and the vaccine, through key targeting of different faith and ethnic communities, encompassing different languages and cultural nuances.
  • Launching a new small grants programme to support grassroots organisations.
  • Community listening and feedback workshops.
  • New programmes for local groups to boost digital inclusion, enhance youth and community leadership and strengthen financial resilience.

One of TCT’s major pieces of work is our delivery of the Near Neighbours programme in the Black Country.

Through our partnership with the national Near Neighbours charity, we help to bring funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to the Black Country.

We work with grassroots groups, communities, faith groups and councils.

Streetly Prayer Event 2019
Streetly Interfaith Prayer Event 2019, organised by our friends at All Saints Church, Streetly

Near Neighbours brings people together in communities that are religiously and ethnically diverse, so that they can get to know each other better, build relationships of trust, and collaborate together on initiatives that improve the local community they live in.

Our current work includes:

  • Small Grants
  • Real People, Honest Talk (RPHT), which brings people together to talk about the tough issues around how we live together well.
  • Events to bring people together around current topics chosen by listening to the lived experience of our community partners:


We caught up with our friends at Stratton Street Community Centre in Wolverhampton to see what impact a Near Neighbours grant has on their community building.


A number of case studies of our work in the Black Country are featured in the latest Near Neighbours impact report.

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Our work in Dudley
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Our work in Sandwell
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We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us

Jo Cox