Reaching for Respect
• Involvement in this project will provide access to supportive, non-judgemental adults who have enormous experience in working with BME young people. Young people will be encouraged to describe their experiences, obtain advice and be given tools to cope with the effects of racism, bullying and identity issues. They will be supported to reach their full potential, and given help in removing any barriers which may be preventing this.
• We aim to combat the destructiveness of racist/ religious bullying and discrimination; such as deterioration in mental, emotional and physical health. This can lead to a complete loss of potential and frequent involvement in negative and self-destructive behaviours.
• Young people from a range of backgrounds (including those from White British backgrounds) will participate in a range of activities which will enable them to mix in a safe environment which values difference and encourages sharing of cultures, customs and traditions,. They will be encouraged to design and evaluate many of their own activities, leading to an increase in self-confidence, self-esteem and pride in their own identities.
• Peer champions will promote engagement by other young people, to increase understanding of racism and lessen discrimination.
• Learning from this project will be shared with a range of professionals in organisations including schools, youth service, YOT etc allowing agencies cross sectors to understand the effects of racism and to influence a city-wide strategy that acknowledges the extent of racist bullying and how to deal with it effectively.
Partnership work with Stoke Damerel Community College and Lipson Community College
We are very pleased to be working in partnership with these two community colleges and building on work that has been established in previous years. Over the next 3 years we will be developing the advice and drop in surgeries, and promoting the reporting of racist incidents through our Facebook page and text service. In conjunction with this, we are running two groups within the schools of young people interested in the issues and willing to explore solutions and the option of training as peer mentors. Overall we will be working towards creating a no tolerance attitude towards racism both throughout the schools and subsequently the community.
Respectinators Young People's Group
The Respectinators are a group who meet fortnightly on a Friday from 4:30 -6:30 at the PDREC building. The group is aimed at ages 11-19 and particularly encourages members from a BME background although all those adhering to the ethos, "All Different – All Equal" are welcome. The group undertake a range of sessions and activities aimed at having fun, building relationships and developing personal and social skills. The group is constituted and have a chair, vice chair, secretary and treasurer and are proud to create a safe, inclusive and welcoming environment. They state that, 'Our aim is to work as a team to plan activities for our peers at the Respect festival, and to raise awareness of other cultures. We really feel we can make an impact in our community through the Respect festival'.
The group raises money for funding activities and when successful have undertaken events at weekends and in school holidays such as cycling in Haldon Forest, Go-Karting, Bowling, Woodlands, Eden Project, Seasonal party and more.
One of the highlights of previous years has been our residential trips.
If you would like to know more please call. Transport to the group can be arranged if needed.
"Join if you are passionate about making a difference, learning new things, increasing your knowledge and having lots of FUN!" (Mehak Tahir)
"Respectinators is a nice place to be, and to chill, and everyone who comes has a good time" (Ameena Elm-Hamdi)
"Having joined the group I have experienced fun activities and met many new people who i have come to call friends.I have been able to go on a residential which has given me time away from home to become independent and build both my personality and confidence. I have also been fortunate to be chosen as chairperson which meant I experienced governing a meeting. Before I joined the group i was a shy person but now I can express my feelings to others which has helped me in everyday life." (Hawa Muganzi)
"The Respect Festival is important because it teaches people to respect other types of people, religions and cultures. The things I have got out of being in the group are organisational skills as well as other skills that will be useful for me in the future. It also helped me to meet people from different backgrounds and cultures both before and during the Respect Festival" –( Aminah Imam)
Advice for parents, schools and other agencies.
Dealing with 'Race' and Religion can be a mine field, particularly with children, and often it can be easier to avoid than to confront. What language is acceptable to use? Isn't it just bullying like any other bullying? What are the actual guidelines? Will I look ignorant if I ask for help? Am I going to make things worse? I don't understand what my child is going through?
We have devised a resource pack to help give you confidence, consistency and information when dealing with this sensitive area. Please do ask us if you need support, and contact us for a copy. We are here to help NOT to criticise or point the finger!