Young people in Newcastle will be studying the ‘three Rs’ – racism, religion and radicalisation – in a bid to help them understand and reject extremist ideologies.
A series of special workshops are being staged at Newcastle-under-Lyme College by documentary theatre group the Reveal Theatre Company to look at the diverse cultures and beliefs within communities.
‘Game On’ aims to raise youngsters’ awareness and understanding of extremism, challenge their misconceptions and enable them to gain a more balanced view of world and current events.
Cllr Tony Kearon, Cabinet member for Communities and Social Cohesion, said: “ The ‘Game On’ workshops explore the view that if communities don’t work together to understand difference, religion and diversity, then environments can be created where extremist ideologies may flourish.
“The hope is that through participating in these workshops, young people can talk about their own beliefs and experiences in a supportive setting , and the risk of them perhaps getting drawn into antisocial behaviour can be prevented.”
Eight ‘Game On’ workshops are set to be held at Newcastle-under-Lyme College during late November/early December and use ‘dramatic interventions’ and interactive presentations to explore their subject matter. At the end of the project, a report is provided to highlight any individuals who may need support in understanding their ideologies, and who may then be referred to a mentoring programme supported by a local community cohesion officer.
Denise Haney, Head of Student Services at Newcastle-under-Lyme College, said: “We are delighted that our students will benefit from this opportunity. We have worked with Reveal Theatre for a number of years and their work helps to support our excellent pastoral provision, assisting the college to promote values and beliefs that enable our students to engage with their local community in a positive manner.”