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Backward step as local council ends contract with Show Racism the Red Card

3 months ago
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Show Racism the Red Card is a north east success story.

Set up on Tyneside in 1996, it is an anti-racism educational charity which has been a major force in changing attitudes and actions in the north east and beyond, since its inception 23 years ago.

The organisation utilises the high-profile status of football and football players to help tackle racism in society.

The majority of the campaign’s output is the delivery of education to young people and adults in their schools, their workplaces and at events held in football stadiums.

Across Britain, Show Racism the Red Card delivers training to more than 50,000 individuals per year.

Especially in light of Monday’s England match in Montenegro, where the visiting players were racially abused. As well as other things that are happening in our society, not just in football.

It is disappointing to hear that a local council has pulled funding for Show Racism the red Card training and workshops.

This will mean a saving of just over £15,000.

Northumberland council have claimed (see below) that they will provide alternative and better arrangements from elsewhere.

However, in these times of austerity, you would find it very difficult to think that this is anything other than a misguided attempt to save a relatively small amount of cash.

The Chronicle report:

Show Racism The Red Card (SRtRC), the North-East based charity which uses inspirational footballers to help children tackle racist attitudes, has been providing educational workshops in the county for the past decade.

But now, organisers claim, they’ve been told the council has pulled just over £15,000 of funding which enabled it to offer teacher training and student workshops across 25 different schools.

SRtRC Education manager, Sue Schofield:

“The work is more important now than ever, certainly in terms of the last few years of austerity and Brexit, and the direct impact that’s had on the rise of the far right. With [alleged fan racism] in the England football game on Monday night, it highlights how important it is.

“After Danny Rose was abused by fans, Raheem Sterling tweeted ‘get some education’, and that’s exactly what we give children.

“It’s all about education, and helping children understand that language is not acceptable.”

“We’re needed now more than ever and it’s so disappointing. It seems the council don’t have an understanding of the work we deliver.

“Over 14,000 children and young people have benefited from our workshops, we get consistently positive feedback, people say we’ve changed their view point. Racism is a difficult subject, and we present it in a way that’s easy to understand.

“The work we do is about encouraging children to think about what they’re told, about their own view points, about the harm that words can do, and some critical thinking about things they hear. It’s about laying the foundations for them to question where their ideas come from.”

Founder of Show Racism the Red Card and chief executive Ged Grebby:

“We’re obviously not going to argue against any other equality work the council might do, but at the same time as we’re being recognised nationally by the government as a provider of anti-racist education, we’re being told we’re not needed.

“Racism is rising in society, we know racism is rising in schools. Racism, anti-immigration views, Islamaphobiam, they’ve all been increasing for 20 years or more, so we are needed now more than ever.”

A spokesperson for Northumberland County Council:

“Unfortunately this contract only offered sessions for up to 25 of the county’s 165 schools, and fewer than 30 teachers accessed anti-racist training last year; whereas it is our ambition that every school in the county should have an equal opportunity to gain support.

“We also work with Northumbria Police and others to ensure that robust messages about the impact of involvement in any form of hate crime is available free of charge to any school.

“We are reassured that where schools value the SRtRC workshops they will continue to book them directly, allowing their children to benefit from additional anti-racism messages.

“We have met with representatives of Show Racism the Red Card, including the chief executive, and have fully explained the reasons behind our decision.”

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