London Mayor announces new £875,000 funding to help London’s communities tackle hate and extremism
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The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced a new £875,000 investment to support community projects tackling extremism, hate, intolerance and radicalisation across London on 12 April.
The new grassroots funding marks the fourth year of the Mayor’s Shared Endeavour Fund and will help 25 projects across London run workshops and educational activities to empower 30,000 Londoners of all ages to challenge racist and hateful views in their communities.
Latest figures from the Home Office show that more younger people are being radicalised by extremist views, with police forces across the country arresting 32 children and teenagers under-17 in 2022 for terror offences, the highest on record.
Violent extremism remains one of the biggest threats facing many cities around the world, and in the last 12 months alone there have been 166 counter terrorism arrests across the UK and eight late-stage terror attacks have been foiled by police and security services. Counter Terrorism Policing and MI5 are also currently engaged in more than 800 investigations across the country, with a large proportion of these in London.
This latest funding brings the Mayor’s total support for grassroot efforts to stand up to hate and radicalisation to a record £3m – more than any other previous mayor. The Shared Endeavour Fund has already supported more than 70 projects since 2020, with over 90,000 Londoners benefitting.
Projects include Arc Theatre, who use live theatre to improve empathy and understanding of how it feels to be on the receiving end of hate, the Chelsea Foundation, who deliver assemblies and support teachers to facilitate discussions on racism, hate, intolerance and extremism, and the Future Leaders programme, who deliver workshops with 16-18 year olds that empower the next generation of Londoners to stand up for diversity and speak out against hate, driving positive change in their local communities and in their schools and colleges.
Khan said, “Keeping Londoners safe is my top priority, and funding these vital community projects is empowering Londoners to stand up against all forms of hate, intolerance and extremism.
“A record number of young people were arrested for terrorism offences last year and deadly plots to harm Londoners continue to be foiled.
“With the rising cost of living crisis impacting so many who may be vulnerable and disaffected, it’s crucial the Government follow our lead and prioritise tackling the threat of terrorism and extremism in our communities and online so we can continue to build a safe London for everyone.”
Commander Dominic Murphy, Head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “We welcome any opportunity to identify new ways to prevent people being drawn into violent extremism and terrorism. Our Prevent teams work with a range of partners, including local authorities, the Mayor’s Office, community groups and individuals and families in supporting those vulnerable to extremist views and steer them away from a path toward radicalisation. But none of this is possible without the support of the public and we remain committed to working closely with the people of London so that we can keep people safe from the threat of terrorism and violent extremism.”
Natalie Smith, Education Director at Arc Theatre, said, “We have received a grant from Mayor’s Shared Endeavour Fund for the past three years and the whole process has felt highly supportive.
“The Mayor’s support has allowed us to deliver high impact live theatre as the opening stimulus for a range of tried and tested practical interactive exercises to help embed important messages to assist pupils (and their teachers) to develop critical thinking skills in order to understand the dangers of extremism, how to challenge negative views and assumptions, and to build counter narratives to hateful ideas.”
Faheem Khan, Founding Director of Future Leaders, said, “At a time when we are seeing increased intolerance and polarisation in our communities, it is more important than ever to educate and empower young people to stand against this and be active upstanders. At Future Leaders UK we deliver capacity-building and awareness-raising training that educates, empowers and encourages young people to demonstrate pro-social behaviours and become active upstanders.
“Being in the Shared Endeavour Fund has meant we are part of a family of organisations all working together to challenge hate and intolerance, supporting each other on the way. The support from the Mayor of London has meant we have been able to empower hundreds of young people across London, who will go on to empower countless others.
“Collaborating with a Mayor who is so genuinely committed to challenging hate and intolerance in all its forms has finally given this important work the platform it needs, meaning more young Londoners are standing against hate, intolerance and extremism than ever before, making our communities safer for all.”
Sam Gaskin-Kemp, Head of Education and Innovation at Chelsea FC Foundation, said, “As one of the world’s leading football social responsibility programmes, the Chelsea Foundation uses the power of football and sport to motivate, educate and inspire.
“The Shared Endeavour Fund has provided us with the opportunity to connect and collaborate with new organisations, which has improved the delivery of our Standing Together programme to increase the outcomes and impact we are achieving. This has also allowed us to learn and consult with experts within their field to strengthen our programme.
“Tackling extremism and countering hate are topics and lessons that are not a part of the national curriculum, offering our Standing Together programme, funded by the Mayor’s Shared Endeavour Fund, has allowed us to provide an opportunity for beneficiaries to engage in safe learning around the impact of discrimination and Hate crimes, empowering participants to become active agents of positive change.”
Ruth Martin, Grants Team Manager at Groundwork London, “Groundwork London supports communities across London to make the capital safer and improve people’s prospects. The Shared Endeavour Fund is an important part of that mission as it empowers civil society organisations to counter hate, intolerance and radicalisation in their communities and take action against issues they directly face. Grassroots organisations are best placed to understand and support communities in this shared endeavour and are vital to successfully addressing the challenges that we face as a city.
“We have seen the brilliant impact of the Shared Endeavour Fund over the last three years and look forward to continuing our work with the Mayor of London and the grant recipients to deliver this important programme.”