Local Heroes is a growing anti-hate crime charity that exists to inspire young people from all backgrounds to maximise their potential and the role they play in society. We support their development by working with “local heroes” to raise awareness of prejudice and hate crime; empowering them to celebrate diversity, value difference, nurture change and prevent bullying.
The Local Heroes’ programme has been designed to inspire children and young people to challenge intolerance and make positive contributions to their lives and communities. We achieve this by providing a programme that has specifically been designed to support young people’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development in a variety of formal and non-formal settings and comprises of three complimentary activities:
LH: Roadshows, flagship learning event where we work with groups of students from local schools in workshops designed to make them consider their views and how they might impact on others;
LH: Bitesize, ‘lesson’ length session that can be delivered in a range of formal and informal settings;
LH: Award; ‘kitemark’ to recognise achievements in challenging discrimination and championing diversity.
Our programme has been designed with the needs of schools and other young-person-focused organisations firmly in mind. Nicky Gahagan, teacher from Royal Latin School attended Buckinghamshire LH: Roadshows comments:
“The Local Heroes workshops have been absolutely superb and have provided a fantastic opportunity for open discussion and the development of strategies to combat bullying.”
“The day has really equipped our pupil ambassadors to challenge the full range of discrimination, which they may hear, see or experience - it has absolutely been the best anti-bullying event I’ve ever been involved with.”
To date, we have delivered roadshows across England and created close to 800 young ambassadors. We have done this with the support of Paralympians, TV personalities, Athletes, Professional Basketball and Rugby Teams and Premier League Football Clubs. Local Heroes innovative practice in supporting schools tackle prejudice and hate crime has also been identified as an example of best practice in hate crime education by Truevision at the Ministry of Justice and received support from Ministers at the Department for Education.
Every young person we work with is encouraged to make a pledge and state how they will become Local Heroes Ambassadors in their own schools and communities:
“I will stand by anyone who feels uncomfortable or different because of their race, disability or social awareness. Make sure people are always involved in social activity. Don’t leave people out just because they may be different.”
“Call time out on hate crime. I will not use gay as a bad word. Schools should be able to let us be us.”
“Teach myself and others to respect and treat others equally. Teach the younger years and my own year that being whatever and whoever they want to be is ok.”
“I pledge to help others be informed about the things I learnt today and to tell someone and stop hate crime when it happens. I shall help people get through hate crime and to try to stop it in every way possible.”
Local Heroes has also been trialling its learning model as professional training tool. We will look to build on our success working with Premiership Rugby and will look to test the professional services market where interest in our model has been shown.