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Counter Extremism – Here’s a solution for you.

Today, the Government released their Counter-Extremism Strategy, looking at how the Government, particularly the Home Office, is going to address extremism in the UK. Here at FaithAction, we’ve already had a look and come up with some thoughts that we wanted to share with you!

We’ve known this is coming, the Prime Minister mentioned it in his Party Conference speech on 7thOctober (why not look at Daniel Singleton’s blog on his speech) and the full document can be found here, but we wanted to pick up on one thing (apart from the £5m to help charities counter extremism).

There are a number of things emphasised in this document, and it’s quite interesting to see the Government’s take on extremism.  There is however mention of how the Government should respond to the challenges of ‘isolated and segregated communities’.  It also highlights how the ‘ability to speak English can have a transformative effect’ in that it ‘gives people the means to integrate with wider society, helping them in the workplace, making it easier to access vital public services, and allowing them to support their children’s education’.

Here at FaithAction, with the assistance of funding from Department of Communities and Local Government, we have been delivering the Creative English programme.  This programme, devised by Dr Anne Smith, gives people the confidence to speak English and the tools to do it.

anneDr Anne Smith says: ‘The Creative English programme doesn’t just teach people words to say, it gives them the ability to practice community-based interactions through using drama.  By using places of faith or community builders, we create a safe place for people to learn and we have seen a great transformation in those that have been engaged with the course… It’s also fun!’

Since the start of 2014, we have seen over 2,400 learners engage in the Creative English programme, with 90% of them getting involved in community-based activities since or during the 10 week course.  Just over 25% of them have progressed towards employment at the end of the programme with a huge number of them reporting that they have now registered with a GP, or had conversations with the housing association or their child’s school.

If you want to find out more about Creative English, visit http://www.creative-english.org.uk/ or contact one of the FaithAction team on 0845 094 6350

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