More than 200 young people from Birtley took part in an anti-racism education day at Birtley Leisure Centre on 11th July.
The year 5 and year 6 children from St Joseph’s Primary School, Portobello Primary School, Birtley East Primary School and Barley Mow Primary School participated in workshops delivered by Show Racism the Red Card’s team of education workers and ex-professional football players.
The event was opened by Gateshead’s Mayor, Councillor Joe Mitchinson, who urged the school pupils to engage with the subject of tackling racism as it is very important in ensuring Gateshead is a safe place to live for everyone.
The children then split into groups and one half took part in activities aimed at educating young people about the myths surrounding Asylum Seekers and Refugees. The other half took part in a fun, football and fitness session with former England under 21, Trevor Benjamin and ex-Newcastle United stars John Anderson and Olivier Bernard.
After the break the groups swapped round so that everyone got the chance to do all of the sessions on offer. The education team from Show Racism the Red Card then introduced their film, A Safe Place, which is about the racism received by Asylum Seekers and Refugees.
This was followed by a question and answer session with all three ex-professional football players. Also on the panel were The Mayor and MP for Blaydon on Tyne, Dave Anderson. Young people asked questions about the subject which showed a knowledge of the subject and empathy with the victims of racism. Those who asked questions received Show Racism the Red Card footballs and t-shirts and everyone else who attended the event received a Newcastle poster signed by the panel and a Show Racism the Red Card goody bag.
Show Racism the Red Card’s Education Manger in the North East, Craig Bankhead, said “The event was part of a series of activities we’ve been facilitating in Birtley thanks to funding from some of the local councillors. All of the young people had taken part in workshops in their schools a few weeks before the event as part of Gateshead Together Week and the team welcomed the opportunity to build on the themes that the young people had previously explored.”
Councillor Paul Foy said “We are delighted with the work Show Racism has done with our schools in Birtley. The children clearly enjoyed themselves while learning important lessons for life. We hope to have further events in the future to get the message across to many more young people”.
Show Racism the Red Card would like to thank the following people for their contribution to this event:
Councillor Paul Foy, Councillor Neil Weatherley, Councillor Joe Mitchinson, Councillor Christine Bradley, Councillor Michael Hood, Dave Anderson MP, Craig Malcolm, Brian Kielty, Richard Howe, Rachel Martin, Louise Levy and all of the pupils and their teachers.