Building A Stronger Britain Together (BSBT)
An anti-extremist education programme delivered by the Anne Frank Trust UK across the North-West of England has positively impacted attitudes among communities most in need, independent evaluation shows.
History for Today, Voices for Tomorrow was delivered between June 2019 and January 2020 across the four areas of St Helens, Bolton, Yorkshire (Kirklees and Calderdale) and Dudley with BSBT funding from the Home Office. Areas were selected because they had seen increases in hate crime, and far-right activity, including a campaign opposing the building of a mosque in Dudley and the murder of the MP Jo Cox by a far-right extremist in Calderdale. Regions showing evidence of segregated Muslim and non–Muslim communities were also chosen.
The project used Anne Frank’s story to educate young people and local communities about the dangers of prejudice, hatred and extremist views and provide a positive counter-narrative based on key themes of respect for others, individual identity and human rights, whilst at the same time building personal resilience and critical thinking.
Its focus was a mobile exhibition depicting Anne Frank’s life story displayed within schools and community venues – including Halifax Minster and Bolton Library – to grant the project a wider audience and foster inter-community connectivity.
A cohort of pupils aged 12-18 were trained to be peer guides and ambassadors to deliver the exhibition to their peers, primary children and the wider community. Follow up workshops facilitated by Anne Frank Trust leads reinforced key messages around prejudice, propaganda and identity.
The History for Today, Voices for Tomorrow project exceeded its overall participant target of 9,320 beneficiaries, reaching 17,399 unique beneficiaries in total.
This report provides findings from an evaluation of History for Today, Voices for Tomorrow conducted by IpsosMORI for the Home Office. It positively indicates that the project has contributed towards two of the BSBT macro-outcomes: “fewer people holding attitudes, beliefs and feelings that oppose shared values” and “increased sense of belonging and civic participation at the local level.”