Routes Project evaluation released

This evaluation documents the pilot year of Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC)'s Routes project, which ran from February 2017 to March 2018. The project provided specialist anti-racism educational intervention through schools and formal educational settings in Tyne and Wear, targeting young people (aged 13-18) identified as being at risk of being drawn in to the politics of the far-right, but whom are below the threshold for a Prevent intervention.

The Routes project developed from a recognition from SRtRC that racism is multifaceted and that, for those young people already vocalising racist attitudes and beliefs, a longer term intervention is most appropriate to address their attitudes and beliefs.

The project was therefore designed to include an in-depth consideration of the factors that can contribute to racism/far-right sentiment, tailored to the concerns of particular groups and individuals who have been referred for an intervention. Routes has flexibility built into its methodology, so young people receive an intervention that is designed to suit their needs and thematic concerns.

The pedagogical approach to the Routes project, rather than telling young people what to think, encourages the exploration of where ideas come from, what racism is and how it manifests in different parts of society. SRtRC believe that via the development of awareness and critical thinking skills, young people can experience a reduction in conflict and confrontation with themselves, their education provider and wider society, thus increasing their resilience to racist and far-right rhetoric.

This process evaluation, authored by independent researcher, Chris Ford, contains feedback from key collaborators on the project, including young people, host organisations and strategic partners from the five local authorities in Tyne and Wear, indicating areas of success and for improvement.

Routes has been funded by the Home Office’s Building a Stronger Britain Together (BSBT) programme, which “supports civil society and community organisations who work to create more resilient communities, stand up to extremism in all its forms and offer vulnerable individuals a positive alternative, regardless of race, faith, sexuality, age and gender”.

This evaluation has been a valuable opportunity to reflect on the year and seek opportunities to both recognise strength and opportunities for approval. SRtRC are grateful to Home Office for funding this work and to Chris Ford and the research participants, for working with us to produce this evaluation. We’re hoping to continue this work to meet the needs of young people who are vulnerable to racist and far-right rhetoric and in contribution to community safety in the region.

You can read the full Routes Project evaluation here. Please be aware that the report does contain some explicit language.