Foundation's Stop the Hate programme expands in east London
Anti-racism has always been high on the Premier League’s agenda, with the Black Lives Matter movement highlighting inequality issues across the globe, along with the need for the community to unite to tackle race issues and hate crimes.
The West Ham United Foundation’s ‘Stop the Hate’ programme has been working across local schools to increase understanding of what racism, extremism and prejudicial ideas are, and how to tackle them, to pupils aged 10-13.
The Foundation’s Education Manager, Temisan Williams, has been driving the anti-racism project for the last three years and this year their work is set to expand, reaching more schools across east London than ever before!
He explained: “Since 2015, West Ham United Foundation have worked closely with Barking and Dagenham local authority and Show Racism the Red Card, delivering a primary and secondary school project to over 3,700 pupils, called ‘Stop the Hate’. This was developed in response to the evident need to support our local community in positively addressing the unfortunate rise in hate crime.
“At the heart of the project is the intended ‘safe space’ for pupils and teachers alike to share their experiences. This is facilitated through a whole day of preventative workshops and a health and wellbeing physical activity session. Essentially, the key learning involves educating the pupils and teachers about the different forms of discrimination and racism, how to recognise it and importantly how to positively challenge it.
“Schools have welcomed this approach and that’s highlighted through this feedback: ‘[It’s the] most effective outside intervention to tackle hate crime we have experienced’.
“Key to the impact of our delivery has been the ever-present involvement of former West Ham United player, Vice Chairman of Show Racism the Red Card, and more recently West Ham United Foundation Ambassador, Leroy Rosenior. By leaning on his own personal experiences of racism as a player and father, Leroy’s drive and determination to see racism and discrimination stamped out of both sport and the wider society, has been integral to emphasising the devastating negative impacts such experiences can have if left unchallenged.
“Since the pandemic ensued, we have been working to continue to deliver the programme virtually, and now, as government guidance allows, are taking this delivery to also include physical sessions where appropriate.”
Following successful application for additional funding, the scheme is set to reach 30 schools across five local boroughs this academic year; increasing awareness of racism, extremism and prejudice ideas. Each school will receive three days of delivery, including a mixture of assemblies, health and wellbeing sessions and workshops.
Senior Education Officer, Cormac Hanrahan, will be leading on the expanded outreach and added: “This is an incredible opportunity for us to increase the impact of this programme, building on the momentum from the past three years as well as various campaigns over the last few months to give schoolchildren further perspective to grow their own thinking, and work together for equality."
For more information contact CHanrahan@westhamunited.co.uk