PSHE GCSE: Crossing Divides - Stories about bringing people together in a fragmented world

By BBC Home Editor, Mark Easton

Britain is a diverse and generally tolerant nation, but there are some profound social, cultural and economic divides.

As a reporter, I have covered many of the problems that these rifts have caused – stereotyping and racism, discrimination and prejudice, violence and terrorism.

There is, though, another story that gets much less coverage, a story of hope and optimism.

Across our country, people are working to heal the scars of intolerance, to find solutions to the difficulties that diversity presents.

Sometimes we focus so much on the negative we paint an overly gloomy picture of the world around us.

It also means we fail to acknowledge those individuals and institutions trying to make a positive difference.

The BBC’s ‘Crossing Divides’ project deliberately focuses on the search for answers – ways people can be successfully brought together and tensions reduced.

It doesn’t shy away from the scale of the challenges, but it works to identify where the problems lie and what might work to diminish them.

That perspective chimes with the PSHE curriculum’s focus on equal opportunities and social justice.

‘Crossing Divides’ looks at the similarities and the differences between people from a range of backgrounds, the impact distrust and discrimination can have on them and, crucially, the evidence-based solutions to creating a more stable and contented society.

I think it is vital in these vexed times, with the apparent rise in hate crimes and deep divisions over the country’s future direction, that we seek urgent answers to maintaining and restoring social harmony.

For more stories about crossing divides please go to

Mark Easton, BBC Home Editor
Friendships forged across racial chasm
A Yorkshire farm offers asylum seekers taste of a new life
The gym bringing young and elderly people together
The school bringing a divided community together
How Sweden is integrating migrants and locals
Can music bridge Thailand's sectarian divide?