Building a Stronger Britain Together

amber-initiatives

UK Community Foundations is partnering with advertising agency M&C Saatchi to deliver over £1million in grants as the first part of a major Home Office initiative to counter extremism.

In Britain, each one of us is free to live the life we choose thanks to shared values that underpin our society: values that include democracy, free speech, mutual respect and opportunity for all. Such freedoms rely on a shared responsibility to respect the rights of others to live as they choose. But in recent times we have seen extremists operating at unprecedented pace and scale, seeking to divide communities and cause great harm.

The ‘Building a Stronger Britain Together’ programme supports civil society and community organisations who work to create more resilient communities, stand up to extremism in all forms and offer vulnerable individuals a positive alternative.

This programme is a partnership between Government and groups and organisations who want to see extremism defeated. Round 1 of the Building a Stronger Britain Together programme ran in Autumn 2016 and Devon Community Foundation is the lead partner for the South West.

FUNDING IN ACTION: AMBER INITIATIVES  

Plymouth is a vibrant and thriving city, but like any other, there are also pockets of high levels of deprivation and inequality. In fact 21% of the city’s children and young people are living in poverty.

Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are often more likely to become victims of discrimination, hate crime and racism. These young people face one, or more, difficult situations and obstacles in their life which can prevent them from having access to formal and non-formal education, active citizenship, empowerment and inclusion in society at large. The combination of economic and social triggers, can serve as catalysts that drive violent behaviour and extremism.

Amber Initiatives received £24,658 to run the ‘Challenging Racism Together’ project, educating young people about different forms of racism and extremism while provoking deep thinking about issues regarding race and identity. The project is a partnership approach, tackling discrimination, intolerance, prejudice, and stereotypes in educational settings via interactive workshops, educational events for school communities and youth clubs to build a more positive environment where all young people feel equal, empowered and can actively engage in community life.

This will be achieved through a range of activities which encourage community resilience by bringing together diverse citizens to identify social problems and try to solve them. Helping young people to realise that they can change their community and influence society as a whole, ultimately increasing their own and their communities’ resilience while reducing the risks of being drawn into negative behaviours. By the end of the project, young people involved will build their awareness and knowledge related to racism and extremism, will develop skills for personal resilience and increase their self-confidence and self-esteem.

“I had problems with my classmates, and have been bullied and faced many stressful situations. This activity empowered me and my parents: we understand better the course of actions how to tackle bullying and hate crime. I feel more confident and supported.”

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