There was an increase in signatures of the hate crime pledge, directly as a result of the campaign the young people led.Yusuf Patel, Community Engagement Coordinator (Counter Extremism)
What was the issue that the partnership covered?
Due to the spike in hate crime, and low levels of social cohesion witnessed across London and other parts of the country, The Home Office has asked various councils to appoint a Community Engagement Coordinator for Social Cohesion, Hate Crime and Extremism, where they create events and campaigns to educate and reduce hate crime & extremism, and increase social cohesion in local areas and boroughs.
This is a new division of the council system, so we have worked with them on only one instance in Redbridge, with the prospect to roll this out on a wider scale with multiple teams in Redbridge, and run this partnership in other councils too.
What happened during the partnership?
In autumn 2018, a team in Redbridge was partnered with Redbridge Council and the Community Engagement Coordinator, where the team learnt about hate crime, extremism and social cohesion in Redbridge, their local borough, and what steps and actions are being taken to help create harmony between various groups, whether it is race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or being transgender.
Due to the content of what the NCS Team learnt, they had very high level of engagement with the partner, and felt empowered to stand up for their area, for themselves, for what they believe in, and make a difference to ensure a generation grows up without hate, without contempt for each other, and to increase quality of life for the people around them.
From the first inspiring visit, the team embarked on a mission to create social change, to reach out to as many people as possible in the town centre on their volunteering day by having a stall outside Redbridge Town Hall where they approached members of the public to talk about how we can create a cohesive society, what hate crime is, and how, we, as society can reduce it.
The team spent many days of the programme creating leaflets, designing and making keyrings to give out to the public with the overall message that Redbridge is better together. The team created a banner with ‘#RedbridgeTogether’ on the face, and got over 150 members of the public to sign it to show their pledge to make a change. The banner was given to Redbridge Council in which they display with pride.
Redbridge Council has an online pledge to stop and report hate crime, which the team were enabling members of the public to sign as well, they created QR codes so that the public were able to find the website easily.
What happened as a result of the partnership?
The team realised that to increase social cohesion, and reduce hate crime is a problem that cannot be solved on one volunteer day. So the team created a social media campaign that they would start off and hand over to the council to continue their work. The team created a Twitter account to push out messages and reports on social cohesion and hate crime.
Their twitter account has garnered the attention of local MPs, councillors and constituents. The selected team member in charge of the social media campaign was outputting relevant messages out every day, on and off the programme to ensure there was a constant attraction to their content.
On top of all of this, the team wanted to create something the council can use that has messages from the public on their viewpoint of Redbridge. The team decided to produce a 90-second video where members of the public, Councillors, and the Council Leader briefly talk about why Redbridge is great, and what to do to make Redbridge a better place.
The video was sent to the council in mid-December, and the council will have a launch event in the New Year where they will invite the public, MPs, councillors, and other key members of the community to view the video. The team will be attending and talk about their experience working with Redbridge Council, and talk through their mini-film.
The team were so inspired and motivated by this partnership, two team members were invited to talk about their project at full council chambers in November and three members of the team are now volunteering with Redbridge Council as Hate Crime Ambassadors, where they go to events and talk about hate crime and social cohesion in Redbridge. The council have also seen an increase of people signing the online Hate Crime Pledge since the team ran their project.
There were many heart-warming moments including seeing young people from diverse backgrounds come together and unite against hate, addressing our Cllrs with their concerns on the rise of hate crime and young people being positive and taking this task extremely personally. Everything has been outstanding, brilliant team, brilliant staff and great work ethic. Long may it continueYusuf Patel, Community Engagement Coordinator (Counter Extremism)
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