Communities are a central part of the Prevent Strategy. It is only by working with and understanding Westminster’s communities can we understand their needs, identify vulnerabilities and seek to support and empower them.
Westminster’s Prevent team work closely with both public sector partners and communities to deliver the Prevent Strategy locally. We aim to ensure that terrorism does not take root in our communities and neighbourhoods, by supporting the wider engagement activities already taking place in schools, place of worship and communities.
Community engagement allows us to better understand the needs of our local communities so that we can respond more effectively to them. It also gives us a chance to explain, and if needs be, reassure communities as to the work we are doing locally on what can be a controversial area of work.
The team continues to build relationships with different individuals and community groups and we are continually seeking to expand our network.
If you are interested in knowing more about what we do or working with us, please do get in touch.
If you are concerned about a friend, relative or neighbour or anyone who you believe may be vulnerable to extremism or radicalisation, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0207 641 6032.
In an emergency, or if someone is at immediate risk of harm, please dial 999.
Westminster’s Prevent team works with institutions, communities and individuals that include people of all ages. Engaging with Westminster’s communities and also the voluntary and community sector forms a key part of the Prevent team’s work. Many of the individuals or families who would benefit most from Prevent projects are from our hardest to reach communities. Furthermore, in order to effectively deliver these projects, it is necessary to partner with local community organisations and groups.
We commission a range of projects in order to support and empower Westminster’s communities. These projects are designed to address the Prevent Strategy objectives but often also address our communities’ wider needs and vulnerabilities.
We have co-ordinated the delivery of a Parenting Programme, based on the Race Equality Foundation’s Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities. The programme seeks to aid parents in building stronger relationships with their children by developing their current parenting approaches and equipping them with new skills, tools and techniques to use within their homes.
The programme started in May 2016, and we delivered 4 series of this programme to 57 parents across Westminster. Since then, the programme has expanded with over 10 series being delivered this past year.
Feedback from parents has been overwhelmingly positive.
The idea for ‘Creating Stronger Communities’ came from going out and engaging with Muslim women. While our main focus is radicalisation, they face many other challenges and this project was designed to meet those needs.
Alongside radicalisation and extremism, the women identified gangs, internet safety, substance misuse and domestic abuse as topics that they were concerned about and wanted more information on. Therefore, we put together a series of 6 sessions in which we brought in an expert to talk about one of those topics each week.
We created Gangs and Radicalisation Project, as we recognise that the same vulnerabilities that can lead to young people joining gangs – like isolation, frustration and lack of purpose, can also make them more of a target for extremist’s views.
We partnered with a number of local youth projects to deliver sessions for young people aged 16 to 24.
The young people were first given a chance to discuss and explore their grievances. They then had the chance to listen to the stories of people, who have turned to gangs, crime or extremism as an ‘answer’ - and the negative impact that’s had on their lives. They then also learned the impact that such life choices can have on families, for example by listening to a mother who lost her son fighting in Syria.