For further information contact:

Building Bridges Against Prejudice
National Coalition
Building Institute
75 Colby Road, Leicester LE4 8LG, UK

Website in English:

5.3. 'Building Bridges' in Sheffield/UK
A peer group education programme of a non-governmental organisation

The National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) England, is a registered charity and affiliated to NCBI International.

Target group and place of the project

Young people between the ages of 15 and 26 years who were drawn from youth clubs in Sheffield area took part in the programme. They come from a diverse range of background like Jewish, Christian and Muslim; Afro-Caribbean, Asian, Pakistani, white English and black English; disabled and able-bodied; lesbian, bisexual and heterosexual; employed, unemployed and students. They were at that time all voluntary or part-time paid youth workers, or young people using youth work provision.

The young people who take up trainer's role could take advantage of youth work provision. It took place in Sheffield, at a residential centre.

NCBI gained access to the young people through the youth service and youth organisations.

The start

The group were already meeting as part of a Youth Involvement Group and they identified prejudice reduction and diversity work as something they wanted to take on. NCBI were contacted by the youth worker involved because of our good reputation in this field of work.

Main content of the project

The main content of the project was to welcome diversity; for participants to reach for pride in their own identities; understand diversity issues; make effective interventions to prejudice and discrimination; and to train other young people in prejudice reduction methods.

Outline of the methodology and description of one particular session

We wanted to bring ideas to every city, town, campus and organisation. Our staff and Associates helped in launching Local Associations in different communities. We led either introductory one-day Prejudice Reduction workshops or 3-day train-the-trainer workshops teaching the people (a minimum 15 including leaders from community groups, schools, religious groups, local governments, police, private and public sectors) to lead the NCBI Prejudice Reduction workshop and Conflict Resolution models.

We provided further assistance and training to local groups and National Associates (local community leaders designed for connection with NCBI).

NCBI methodology is different from that employed by many others in this field of work. It is upbeat, fun and practical. It offers specific and concrete skills which are immediate, practical and adaptable. Guilt and blame are counter-productive and immobilising and as such form no part of the content. Participants are encouraged to reflect on current practice, to increase their own personal effectiveness and to plan future action and strategies. At a recent workshop for a group of young women hearing each others stories of racial, religious and ethnic prejudices had them moved and making connections with the way they have themselves been hurt, and emerging with new understandings and a more sophisticated of how all their experiences are connected.

The best and the worst moments of the project
The main successes and failures

The main success has been twofold. Firstly, each participant has given feedback that their understanding of diversity issues, prejudice and discrimination have been radically altered, their behaviour and ability to handle situations has dramatically changed. Secondly, many of the participants have gone out and used what they have learned with other young people. The main failure has been that we have not had the financial resource for the key trainer to remain involved to offer an on going support, supervision and fresh training input required for the group to continue.

Training for peer-teams and\or their coaches?

The project itself was specifically about providing training for peer-teams.

Financial and material resources

Financial resource came from the YIP programme, NCBI England, and Sheffield Area Youth Association. Input and training for the key trainer came from NCBI International.

Results and the impact of the project

The project made a good impact on the young people who were directly involved in the project itself, and with the young people the peer-teams have gone on to work with.

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