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Google funding means Stand by Me can go national

Our project Stand by Me UK, tackling hate and extremism, is to receive a share of €10m funding from the Google.org Impact Challenge on Safety.

This fund will enable us to extend the reach of our current Stand By Me initiative, which urges bystanders to get involved and intervene if they witness hate crimes. We are one of only three organisations in the UK to be awarded the funding, which received over 900 applications and eventually made grants to 29 projects across Europe.

Why this project is so important?

Incidents of hate crime have continued to rise in the UK, particularly since the EU Referendum in 2016. Stand by Me recognises that it should not just be the victim’s responsibility to stand up to perpetrators and report crimes but that it is everyone’s responsibility to tackle hate crime and create safer communities.

How the training works?

Stand by Me provides a meaningful and practical way of responding to the issue of hate and hostility in the community. It raises a ‘call to action’ to witnesses/bystanders, encouraging and empowering them to create safer communities. It also shows participants that they don’t need to be deterred by concern for their own safety, as there are safe actions you can take such as ‘See, Report, Support’:

After we ran the Stand by Me pilot campaign between July and October 2018, the number of participants who said they would be likely to provide support and report any hate incidents increased by 91% and 102% respectively.

Making a difference to individuals and communities

Marwa Soliman, from Nottingham, has been a victim of hate and recently trained as one of our Stand by Me ambassadors. She knows from her own experience what a difference this funding will make:

“It has really increased my confidence knowing that there are things I can do whilst keeping myself safe. “All of my friends and family know about the project so they too can help others. It’s a great project to make communities safer.”

Read Marwa’s story in Nottingham Post

What it means to be going national?

This funding from Google will enable us to spread the message much wider, encouraging more people across the UK to safely report hate crimes and support victims.

Shamsher Chohan, our Creative Director, developed the concept of Stand by Me and says:

“It will really make a difference in how hate crime is addressed in local communities and show that everyone can do something without putting themselves at any risk.”

How to access training and support so you can stand up to hate?

The roll-out of Stand by Me UK will begin in May 2020.

To find out how your community group could benefit from this training and/or receive support to become Stand by Me UK ambassadors, please contact us.