The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced another £725,000 investment for grassroots counter extremism community groups.
This is part of the £2 million Shared Endeavour Fund which seeks to directly support thousands of Londoners fighting back against rising extremism.
The news comes as data confirms a rise in hate crime offences, a record number of young people being investigated for terrorism offences, as well as a new warning that far right extremists are increasingly being radicalised online.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “We know that uncertainty and hardship can create fertile breeding grounds for hatred and division as extremists take the opportunity to prey on impressionable young Londoners.”
He explained that continued investment in grassroots initiatives has already ensured that thousands of people in London are actively engaged with projects and programmes that strengthen our communities and encourage everyone to reject extremist ideologies.
The Mayor is working closely with the Met, key agencies and security partners to make London more prepared for terrorist attacks than they were in 2015.
He added: “This is part of my ongoing commitment to make our city fairer and safer for all so that more Londoners are better equipped to resist the threat of extremism.”
The projects the Mayor is currently funding are:
- Exit Hate UK’s ‘Peace Advocates’ project, which uses the lived experiences of former right-wing extremists to train Londoners to spot the early warning signs that someone could be becoming radicalised.
- The Groundswell Project which is educating Londoners about how to challenge hate within their communities and connects people with inspiring local events, charities and volunteering opportunities across the capital through its Kindness Mapper App.
- Projects being delivered in schools such as an activity-led programme challenging antisemitism and Islamophobia delivered by the multi-faith facilitators of Maccabi GB, a leading Anglo-Jewish sports, health and wellbeing charity.
- Counter terrorism funding for community foundations at Chelsea Football Club and West Ham United who work with young Londoners to tackle hate and extremism, using the power of football to deliver life-changing opportunities.
Hadiya Masieh, Founder and Executive Director of the Groundswell Project, said: “The legacy of the Coronavirus pandemic has had lasting effects on young people.
“The experience of becoming suddenly isolated, feeling a sense of true fear for the future and finding solace in increased online activity created potential openings for extremists to exploit.
“Alongside the pandemic, other big issues such as increased societal polarisation and the cost of living crisis are continuing to create platforms for those who peddle hate and extremism to susceptible young minds.”
She added: “But we can’t do this on our own.
“The support of the Mayor of London’s Shared Endeavour Fund has been invaluable in helping us deliver meaningful workshops with young Londoners across the capital and continue our work to find, connect and amplify those who want to promote love and inclusivity as well as inspire positive change.”
Featured image credit: Metropolitan Police