Youth of Pendle responds to Cohesion challenge

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A scheme that has brought together primary school children from different backgrounds for three years is being extended for secondary school students to encourage community-based harmony.

Run by BBPendle, the borough-wide Cohesion initiative aims to raise awareness and understanding amongst young people about different cultures, with pupils from Park High School in Colne and Marsden Heights Community College in Brierfield having already taken part.

The Cohesion students in Nelson town centre.

The Cohesion students in Nelson town centre.

After working together for two months to design and deliver a community cohesion project, the students toured the local area to visit Year 6 pupils at Pendle Primary Academy and Park Primary to deliver interactive workshops on the importance of having a positive outlook to life and diversity.

Project Manager, Rauf Bashir, said: “This project has been a great achievement on many fronts, having expanded our linking work into secondary Schools, the range of community partnerships coming together, and - importantly - young people being able to put their learning into practice within a community setting."

Pupils also engaged with the public in Nelson town centre to discuss social cohesion considering matters such as the post-Brexit rise in hate crime, terrorism, and tragedy, and how the next generation plays a vital role in demonstrating solidarity.

In partnership with the schools involved, In-Situ, and the Community Cohesion Action Network, further plans are being developed to continue this line of work over coming years, with In-Situ Director, Paul Hartley, adding: “We're facilitating creative experiences for children to appreciate the richness of diversity without prejudice”.