Community Cohesion

Community Cohesion in Trafford

Trafford has a diverse community, with many faiths and cultures across our borough. We have strong community relations, and Trafford is the safest borough in Greater Manchester. However, we have to recognise that more could be done to improve social inclusion of isolated and vulnerable residents, reduce hate crime and prevent radicalisation, and ensure faiths and cultures live together positively and without fear.

Trafford Community Cohesion Forum

The Trafford Community Cohesion Forum includes representatives from a range of local Voluntary and Community Organisations, Greater Manchester Police and Trafford Council.

The purpose of the Community Cohesion Forum is to:

  1.  Provide strong leadership, vision and strategic advice for integration and cohesion;
  2.  Work collaboratively with public, voluntary, faith and community groups to celebrate and promote integration and cohesion;
  3. To facilitate constructive engagement with visible and ‘hidden’ community groups;
  4.  To welcome newer communities, encourage participation in civic life and increase interaction between different community groups;
  5.  To help support diversity-related events such as International Women’s Day, LGBTQ+ History Month, Black History Month, etc.;
  6.  To promote Trafford as an inclusive, diversity-friendly borough, and encourage active participation in civic life by all local people;
  7.  To discuss matters concerning ‘Prevent’ and how best to lessen the chance of terrorism or extremist activity in Trafford;
  8.  To discuss matters of concern, such as hate crime and community tensions.

Hate Crime Awareness Grants 2020

Greater Manchester’s Hate Crime Awareness Week 3rd - 9th February 2020 is now in its eighth year and continues to go from strength to strength. In Trafford we celebrate our strong, diverse communities, recognising the many faiths and cultures across our borough, and we are proud that Trafford remains the safest borough in Greater Manchester.

Nationally there has been a rise in hate crime, defined as an act that is committed against any person or group that is motivated by hostility and prejudice based upon disability, race, ethnic origin or nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender orientation or alternative subculture. Offences include such things as name calling, verbal abuse, bullying, harassment, spitting, physical attacks, damage to property, graffiti, written notes, emails and text messages.

The Safer Trafford Partnership, a multi-agency group that includes, Trafford Council, Greater Manchester Police, The Fire Service and local Housing Associations organised a programme of activities, stalls and workshops throughout the week.

These included the launch of a Refugees Support Network whereby organisations came together to discuss what vital and practical support organisations can offer refugees and asylum seekers in Trafford.

Trafford Council and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority made £10,000 available to fund events and projects to tackle hate crime.

Cllr Mike Freeman, Trafford Council Executive member for Public Safety, Governance and Reform, said:

“Hate Crime Awareness Week comes at an opportune time; the UK having last week left the EU. It is essential as a Trafford community that we stand together against hatred and discrimination and raise awareness of the damage this behaviour does to community cohesion. I hope the week is a success and the projects that we have funded increase awareness about the reporting of hate crime as well as providing our communities understanding of what constitutes hate crime and the impact it has on our neighbourhoods.”

The successful events and projects were:

Organisations

Amount   Awarded

Summary

Art with Heart

£380

Equalities Workshop delivered to Year 8 students at Flixton Girls School

St John’s Centre

£500

An ‘Iftar’ (a breaking of fast) during the month of Ramadan to bring our community together in atmosphere of warmth and hospitality

The Urban Fitness Collective

£500

Running a hate crime debate and awareness raising sessions for 25 young people

Pulling Together Asian Women’s Group

£500

5 weekly sessions and 1 interactive celebration for participants who will create an Old Trafford Comic Strip to discuss the main reasons as to why Hate Crime happens

Rehoboth for Families, Children and Young People

£500

One day interactive workshop on hate crime

Community Cohesion Grants 2019

In 2019, following an open application process, Trafford Council and the Safer Trafford Partnership funded 13 projects that will strengthen the borough’s strong communities.

The awarding panel included, Councillor Brian Shaw, Shadow Executive Member for Communities and Partnerships, alongside representatives from Trafford Council, Greater Manchester Police and the Community Cohesion Forum, chose a range of projects from across the borough. The panel focused on projects that brought different faiths and communities together, targeted engagement around issues of hate crime, knife crime, social isolation and loneliness, built pride and strengthened communities by residents working together, and youth engagement that promotes community cohesion.

Cllr Brian Shaw said: “Trafford has a diverse community, with many faiths and cultures across the borough. Whilst Trafford remains the safest borough in Greater Manchester, we recognise that more could be done to tackle hate crime, social isolation and knife crime, and ensure faiths and cultures live together positively and without fear.

We are excited to be funding these exciting projects and will be closely working with them to ensure they are able to achieve their ambitions for the benefit of Trafford residents.”

The successful projects were:   

Organisations

Amount   Awarded

Summary

Theatre of the Senses CIC

£2000

Providing   a variety of volunteer-led services and workshops.

The Anne Frank Trust UK

£3944

Providing   hate crime workshops in two secondary schools in Trafford.

The Conservation Volunteers

£3668

Bringing young people with   different life experiences together to take part in fun, outdoor volunteering   activities within their local park.

Brink Productions Limited

£3660

Delivering   24 knife crime awareness sessions in Sale High School to Year 10 students.

Cyril Flint Befrienders

£4900

To   recruit and train between 70-100 volunteers who are residents of Trafford to   work with lonely and/or socially isolated older people.

Groundwork Trust GTM

£5000

Expanding   upon “Old Trafford Youth Forum”. The forum has been developed with young   people from underrepresented communities to come and gather as group and   facilitate opportunities for the “youth voice”, at a grass roots level in   local communities.

The Counselling and Family   Centre

£4780

Running a community allotment   project on the Wellfield Lane allotments.

Gorse Hill Studios

£5000

Delivering a youth inclusion   project for 20 weeks.

Rehoboth for Families, Children   and Young People

£5000

Project that engages with young   people, getting their views on issues that affect them physically, emotionally   and spiritually.

The Urban Fitness Collective

£5000

Running a hate crime debate and   awareness raising sessions for 25 young people.

LEAF/ Language Library

£4991

Cultural kitchen project   whereby residents will have the chance to come and cook in a group setting.

Altrincham and Hale Muslim   Association

£2775

Schools project discussing   shared communities, futures and values.

Altrincham Interfaith Group

£500

Annual inter-faith dinner

Tackling Hate Crime

The Council has been working to tackle hate crime in Trafford together with key partner organisations, service users and community representatives for the last few years. A Hate Crime Strategy has been developed with the Safer Trafford Partnership which aim to put in a place a powerful and effective framework to help Partnership members to combat hate crime in our community. While we are proud that Trafford remains the safest borough in Greater Manchester, nationally hate crime figures are on the rise. Everyone has the right to feel safe and we all have a responsibility to stand together against hatred and discrimination. It is important for Trafford, as a community, to do its utmost to tackle hate crime.

There are 3 key objectives within the strategy and action plan which are:
1. Raise awareness of hate crime
2. Improve and review engagement with Third Party Reporting Centres
3. Build resilience within the Trafford community

Interfaith Networking Event

Around 90 people, some of whom were from faith and religious backgrounds, attended the Trafford Unites Community and Interfaith event at the Limelight Centre in Old Trafford on 14th November 2018.

The aim of the event, organised by Trafford Council, Near Neighbours and Limelight Old Trafford, was to bring people together, discuss current projects within the community and to gain an understanding of the challenges these communities are facing and how we can overcome them collectively.

Trafford Council Mayor Tom Ross spoke about the benefits of community cohesion and religious leaders discussed the relevance of working together with different faiths and how their religion is contributing towards community cohesion.

The speakers were Rabbi Fabian Sborovsky, Jewish Faith Leader;  Nidhi Sinha, of the Indian Hindu Community; Reverend John Hughes, St Johns Parish; Dr. Nasser Kurdy, from Altrincham Mosque; Sarup Landa, a Sikh Faith Leader and Dr Farshid Taleb, Bahai, from the Community of Trafford.

Joshua Fulcher, Community Cohesion Officer for Trafford Council, said:

“Firstly I would like to thank everyone who attended the Trafford Unites: Community and Interfaith Networking Event. The audience represented the diversity that we celebrate in Trafford and it was valuable to hear how we can improve community cohesion in the future.”

“The talks from both religious leaders and local projects were inspiring and showcase some of the great work that is currently happening in Trafford. I can reassure you all that this is not a ‘one-off’ event and we will be releasing some more information in the future about upcoming events.”

Three of the projects that were funded through the Trafford Council and Safer Trafford Partnership Community Cohesion Grant showcased their work:  

  • Footlights - Funded £4,997.08 for the delivery of a programme for Trafford Secondary schools focusing on hate crime.
  • Groundwork - Funded £5,100 to establish a young person’s forum for diverse communities in Old      Trafford.
  • Caritas - Funded £5,000 for a Community Sponsorship Scheme for refugees project bringing Muslim and      Christian Faiths across Old Trafford and Flixton together.

The Community Cohesion Officer is keen to learn about community projects in Trafford. Please contact him at Joshua.Fulcher@trafford.gov.uk

Trafford Tackles Social Isolation

Social isolation has been linked to a number of illnesses including depression and can even lead to young people turning to extremism. It is on the rise in the UK and experts are predicting huge problems with the condition in the future.

To help tackle the issue in our borough, Trafford Council held a special event with residents and expert speakers at Sale Waterside Arts Centre. Trafford Unites: Tackling Social Isolation Together took place on 18 January 2019 and followed the successful Interfaith and Community Networking event last November.

In short, social isolation is defined as having a lack of contact with family or friends, community involvement, integration or access to services. Socially isolated young people and adults can be vulnerable to criminal exploitation or radicalisation.

The discussions centred on four main topics:

  • How socially isolated individuals could be vulnerable to criminal exploitation or radicalisation
  • How to build resilience within socially isolated individuals
  • Understanding what services and faith communities are currently doing to tackle social isolation in Trafford
  • How can we work together in the future to build stronger social connections?

A total of 55 residents from all backgrounds, including teachers and safeguarding officers, attended the special event. There were interesting presentations from a wide range of speakers.

Sgt Robin Knights, from Greater Manchester Police’s Counter terrorism unit, spoke about how people in society who are socially isolated could be vulnerable to criminal exploitation or radicalisation; Mandy Dennison, from Coaching Inside and Out, explained why young people feel socially isolated and Anton Penrose, of the MovezMovement, explained how youth groups build resilience in socially isolated individuals.

Also, Christine Aspinall, from St Johns Centre, spoke about how religious groups supporting people to build resilience and offering support to people who are feeling socially isolated. And Lilly Axworthy, of Greater Manchester Together, explained how community groups can become places of welcome for people feeling isolated.

Cllr Kevin Procter, Trafford Council’s Executive Member for Communities and Housing, chaired the event. He said: 

"This was a very successful event attended by 55 people from across the board. The speakers were excellent and gave us all an expert insight into social isolation and how it affects people.

There were some really positive round table discussions on what it means to be socially isolated and what we can do to combat this awful situation. It is horrible to think that there are people out there who have no contact with family, friends or the outside world. People need to interact with each other and, when there is no interaction, there are problems.

People can become anxious and depressed when they have nobody to share their problems with. And, worryingly, it can also lead some into criminal exploitation or radicalisation. Having discussions about these issues is the way forward – we need to get this issue out in the open and come up with solutions."

 


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