'Building Bridges' in Sheffield/UK
A peer group education programme of a non-governmental
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 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 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
Training for peer-teams and\or their
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.