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Organisations tackling hate crime given £114,000 funding boost

holocaust museum

Students at the National Holocaust Centre. Image credit: National Holocaust Centre & Museum

A pilot scheme helping to encourage the “learning, curiosity and reflection” surrounding hate crimes has been extended thanks to a Make Notts Safe grant.

The National Holocaust Centre and Museum in Newark is just one of those awarded a share of the £114,511 of funding from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s hate crime thematic grants.

Under this thematic area, the Make Notts Safe grant has been awarded to five organisations who provide services to stop hate crime.

The projects which have been successful all align with the key priorities of the Make Notts Safe plan, which are preventing crime and protecting people from harm, responding efficiently and effectively to community needs and supporting victims and survivors.

The National Holocaust Centre and Museum’s project Breaking the Cycle was awarded £17,480 to continue its work as a behaviour change programme for adult perpetrators of hate crime and incidents. 

It works through examining the impact of hate through the Holocaust by learning about life of Jewish people in Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s.

Starting as a youth intervention to address myths and stereotypes that lead to prejudicial behaviours, the scheme grew into a pilot for adults.

Nottinghamshire Police officers are able to make referrals to Breaking the Cycle if they believe a person to be acting out in ways that stem from racial prejudice, so it acts as a preventative measure for hate crimes.

Karen Becher, senior educator at the National Holocaust Centre, said: “We as a centre stand for the individual, giving back the individual their identity and showing respect for them as people.

“We want to spark learning, curiosity and reflection but they need to make the choices themselves.

“We will give them the tools to help them make those choices so that they can break this cycle of getting involved in negative experiences, otherwise they won’t come out of this cycle.

“Through looking at the example of antisemitism, it sparks conversation because we’re not here to judge, we’re here to help.

“There are so many different aspects and ways to use Holocaust education that are really good for communities.

“We are very pleased and very very grateful to the Police and Crime Commissioner for her support, it’s really good stuff. We can’t say thank you enough.”

The other organisations working hard to tackle hate crime include One Conversation, Communities Inc CIC, Mencap and Signpost to Polish Success.

One Conversation’s Let’s Talk project brings young people, learning disabled and autistic adults together to bridge divides and address hate crime on a fundamental and attitude changing level.

They were awarded £19,485 for the project to work within secondary schools to reduce disability hate crime.

Dr Brad English, Lead Activist at OneConversation in Mansfield, said: “Funding from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for OneConversation's 'Let's Talk' Programme gives secondary school students the chance to work face-to-face with learning disabled and autistic people to understanding the complexities of hate crime, the impact words and actions have, and to learn directly from the people with lived experience about how damaging it can be for both sides involved.”

Communities Inc CIC in Mansfield and Ashfield has been awarded £32,336 to deliver its project Safety Through Engagement, which aims to reduce Islamophobic hate crime in Mansfield and Ashfield by encouraging cross cultural exchanges to break down barriers and foster understanding.

Michael Henry, Strategic Director of Communities Inc CIC, said: “We have a long track record of delivering projects that break down barriers between communities by encouraging them to come together and share information about their lives and ultimately build relationships, trust and understanding. 

“Safety through Engagement will tackle Islamophobia or hate crimes against the Muslim community by giving local people the chance to learn about the Muslim faith and even visit mosques.”

Learning disability charity Mencap was awarded £29,390 for its project Smile! Stop Hate Crime.

It challenges hate crime towards people with learning disabilities and autism, increases the reporting of disability hate crimes and enables people with a disability to live inclusively and safely in our community.

Karen Aspley, Project Manager at Mencap, based in the City said: "The money we receive from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner enables the Smile! Stop Hate Crime Project to work with disabled people to support their safety and to enable people who work with people with learning disability to understand and meet their safety needs.

“People with learning disabilities are disproportionately affected by crime and hate crime in our community."

The Signpost to Polish Success based in the Arboretum is raising awareness about hate crime within the Eastern European community through their scheme Hate Crime Awareness Raising.

The organisation was awarded £8,960 to provide the community with support in dealing with hate incidents and giving them the confidence to disclose and report these to relevant agencies and authorities.

Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said:  “Delivering my Make Notts Safe plan is not only one of my key responsibilities, but also one of my biggest passions.

“That is why I have created these grants, to make sure the people of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire have innovative, preventative measures in place to give them the support they need to stay on the right path.

“Everyone has an equal right to be safe and secure within Nottinghamshire which is why it is so important that communities have support in place for incidents of hate crime.”

Posted on Monday 6th March 2023
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