Uxbridge College students were among learners from Hillingdon who joined forces in a campaign to help combat hate crime and extremism.
The Level 2 Creative Media and Art & Design students created posters and video infomercials for the Hillingdon Voices United project - facilitated by the Stronger Communities team at the London Borough of Hillingdon - which were shared at a showcase evening at Brunel University London. Level 3 Journalism and Creative Writing students from the college also took part, producing poems challenging hate, and presentations on keeping safe on social media. Learners from Creative Writing and Music at Brunel University London, and Hillingdon Adult and Community Learning, were also involved.
Participants, friends and family, and partner organisations came along to the event to celebrate the successful project and see the final collection of work, which also includes lesson plans which can be used by other learners, as well as documentary films. The work will form part of a community learning resource to be utilised by other schools and local community organisations.
Dr Darrell DeSouza, Vice Principal of HCUC (Harrow College Uxbridge College, the merged college group for the two organisations), who attended the event, said: “It was great to see the fabulous, real-project work that was carried out with learners from Uxbridge College and local schools through the Stronger Communities partnership’s Hillingdon Voices United Project. All the work was of a really high standard and for a really good local and national cause. Congratulations to all the staff, students and partners involved in making this project such a success.”
The Uxbridge College students worked in small teams on their assignment for seven weeks to create the resources to help raise awareness of hate crimes and how to report them. Whilst working on the project, students investigated a wide range of hate crimes, including knife crime, islamophobia and homophobia.
Lyn Stevenson, Media Lecturer at Uxbridge College, said: “Whilst working through the project our students bonded as a group and applied the respect and tolerance they were learning to their own personal development. The students applied a high level of technical and creative skills for their stage of learning, and matured during the project into respectful, kind-natured young adults. I am extremely proud of the work they produced and of the increasingly thoughtful and respectful people they are developing into.”
The project aimed to strengthen community cohesion, build resilience and improve community relations, enabling the local community to work together to raise awareness of the issues around hate crime and extremism and how to tackle them. The work also encouraged participants to feel confident in challenging hate and discrimination and to promote greater understanding, respect and unity.
Hillingdon Voices United was also supported by the Stronger Communities Partnership, a group of representatives from local community partners such as the police, learning providers, charities and other local community organisations, and the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.