Friendship project launched

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In a campaign to bring the whole of the community together in friendship, Building Bridges Pendle announced the delivery of its new “Good Neighbours Project” at a community launch event.

It was held in the council chamber at Nelson Town Hall on Thursday last week and it was pretty packed. It brought together community groups, agencies, organisations, faith leaders and young people from a range of backgrounds.

Presentations were delivered by representatives from central Government, the police and a research consultant.

The speakers included Rauf Bashir (Project Manager, Building Bridges Pendle ), the Rev. Ed Saville (director BBPendle), Anna Wojtowicz (team leader, Faith & Integration DCLG), Dan Silver (Social Action & Research Foundation director), Det. Insp. Nick Hodgeson (Hate Crime and Cohesion Team), Sgt Gordon McGeechan (Prevent), and two students from Marsden Heights Community College’s Positive Voices – Sana Ali and Ismaeel Mirza.

An insight was given into the aims of the new project with young people at the forefront, but also mindful of community groups and statutory bodies needing to take shared responsibility in bringing communities closer together.

Discussions took place on overcoming challenges towards further development of closer and safer communities; promoting good practice and the need of leadership to be shown across various sectors.

Running alongside a significant level of input in schools, a programme of community engagement will bring back into the public domain an important agenda of not only promoting cohesion but standing against divisive and negative political ideologies’

The “Good Neighbours Project – Developing Tomorrow’s Good Citizens Today” will be delivered in over 12 schools in the current year and gradually increase its engagement to over 18 schools in the coming years.

BBPendle manager Rauf Bashir said: “Running alongside a significant level of input in schools, a programme of community engagement will bring back into the public domain an important agenda of not only promoting cohesion but standing against divisive and negative political ideologies.”

And Peter Dewhurst, chairman of the Board of Directors at BBPendle: “I feel this is a vital thing to help create a very friendly community here in Pendle. It is important that people get on together well and enjoy being around with each other here.

“Me and my board are determined to get this to work well and our employees and volunteers are doing great jobs!”