Prevent in Waltham Forest is about protecting vulnerable children, young people and adults from radicalisation by any individual or organisation that could exploit them.
We know that a lot of the time individuals are targeted in this way because they are vulnerable. This could be for any number of reasons and our challenge is to understand what those reasons are and how they can be targeted so we prevent this from happening.
- We work closely with a range of partners including schools, the police and probation services, health services, faith groups and community organisations to do this, and the responsibility is shared. Our aim is to:
- Engage with our community so they feel informed and confident to identify and challenge radicalisation and extremism in an appropriate way.
- Give young people the skills and confidence to come to their own conclusions and to challenge ideas that appear to be harmful to them or the people around them.
- Teach young people about internet and social media safety and the risks of speaking to strangers online.
- Ensure that our work is focused on the whole family, so that parents understand more about radicalisation and extremism and how they can help protect their children against these risks.
- Work with schools and educational settings to ensure that they too understand and promote the safety of children in all forms.
Our Prevent projects cover the following areas of activity:
Online safety and making sure young people know how to stay safe in an increasingly digital world. We support secondary schools and colleges, who take part on a voluntary basis, and focus on students and people who work with vulnerable young people. Critical thinking skills are an important part of this work, so young people feel confident to question ideas they don’t agree with, and learn tips for using the internet and social media safely to avoid individuals who sometimes prey on vulnerable people. Sessions provide a safe environment for students and staff to have discussion and debate. Please contact your child’s school or college for more information, or visit the Education HUB online.
- Working with young people to build their confidence, leadership skills, and the skills to mediate and challenge any harmful ideas they may face in their community. Young people are recruited from secondary schools, and it is entirely voluntary.
- Working with multi-faith establishments to identify and address any risks or gaps they may have in their management, procedures, and policies around safeguarding and radicalisation, which could potentially leave them at risk.
- Helping families improve their understanding of Prevent, and giving them the skills and knowledge to identify the risks and potential dangers that their children can be exposed to. This consists of a 13 week programme which involves group workshops for parents from all parts of the community living in areas affected by radicalisation and extremism, or at risk of gang related violence.