Brian Stop Hate UK Trustee

Why I became a Stop Hate UK Trustee, by Brian Culleton

Stop Hate UK has seen quite a few new faces join the team recently; from volunteers to helpline operators to employees and trustees – which is great news for the strength of the charity and its collective skills.

 Just last week, one of the training sessions featured our new trustee, Brian Culleton, who joined the charity in the middle of 2016 and Brian has kindly put together a very emotive piece as to the reasons why he became involved with Stop Hate UK.

We’re only too happy to share this with you, as an insight into one of our newer trustees viewpoint and the motivations behind the decision to become a trustee of Stop Hate UK.

Over to Brian….Brian Stop Hate UK Trustee


“Hello. I’m Brian Culleton and I’m on the Board of Trustees for Stop Hate UK.   I joined the board in June 2016 after meeting with Rose Simkins (Chief Executive of Stop Hate UK) and having a conference call with the Chair of Trustees (Graham Lewis) and another trustee.

My main reason for joining Stop Hate UK was due to the ongoing treatment of transgender people, which prompted me to research some charities to which I could support.  As it turned out, the more I read around the subject, I quickly realised that I was more interested in stopping all forms of hate, bias and discrimination towards all people.  

After meeting with Rose and speaking with Graham, I was even more enthused and became very keen to join the board, to help ensure that the work of this wonderful charity continues for many more years.

I acknowledge that the very mission statement or aim, I suppose, of every charity, group or support network is actually not to exist.  For example; if there were no Hate Crime in the UK, Stop Hate UK’s work would be done…!  Isn’t that the ultimate goal of every charity?

Unfortunately, just as we think that we’re making strides in this country, people’s mindsets don’t move in line with legislation. For example, just because equal marriage was introduced, doesn’t mean that homophobia was eradicated.

Similarly, the outcome of the Brexit vote resulted in an upsurge in Hate Crime that was unprecedented.  Some people thought it presented them with legitimate excuse to attack (verbally and physically) any non-national.  

All colleagues and volunteers involved in Stop Hate UK have become part of this wonderful charity because they feel impassioned about preventing Hate Crime and supporting those affected by it.  The work of this charity is of paramount importance and will continue to be needed until society accepts the incredible diversity that we have in this country.

As for my role, and the role of the wider Board of Trustees, we simply have a responsibility for the management of the charity.  We have to ensure that the charity’s assets and resources are used only for the purposes of Stop Hate UK.  This involves safeguarding all of the charity’s assets such as cash, intellectual property (i.e. marketing material), staff and reputation.  We are also responsible for establishing and monitoring all associated policies and employment procedures.  This includes the recruitment policy, grievance policy, levels of authority policy, disciplinary policy … the list goes on.  Essentially, we, as the Board, are tasked with ensuring that the Stop Hate UK is run in accordance with its constitution, charity law and all governing documents.  We need to make sure that the board performance is effective and we support/manage Rose as the Chief Executive.

The Board of Trustees is made up of two elements; the overall Board and also the Finance, Governance and HR sub-group.  My role is the Finance Lead and it is my responsibility to make sure that Stop Hate UK keeps proper accounts and to review the financial performance.

It is also my responsibility, along with the Board, to ensure that Stop Hate UK has robust and effective financial controls in place.

I acknowledge that it all sounds very convoluted but we, as a Board, are effectively there to ensure that the charity remains as a going concern (i.e. the charity remains operating for the foreseeable future).  All the Stop Hate UK Trustees bring different professional skills, resources, connections and life experiences to ensure that we continue to be as effective a board as possible.

We’re not ethereal beings – we’re very ordinary people who are involved in Stop Hate UK simply for the same reasons that you are – we want to make Hate Crime a thing of the past – and step-by-step we’re supporting and educating people to allow them to see the true beauty and diversity of this incredible country.

From my perspective, I would like to thank all Stop Hate UK employees and volunteers for the work that you do.  Without your input and support to make Stop Hate UK so fantastic, our role as Board of Trustees would be redundant and cease to exist.  All of you do the hard work and we are well aware of that so a massive, heartfelt and sincere thank you to all of you.”

We’d like to thank Brian for taking the time out to write such an emotive, insightful piece and we look forward to his continued support as a Trustee of Stop Hate UK.

Stop Hate UK Response – Release of Police Hate Crime Figures – Post Brexit Vote, July to September 2016

Statement from Stop Hate UK on Hate Crime figures post Brexit vote

As you may have seen featuring heavily in the news, the majority of police forces in England and Wales have reported record levels of Hate Crimes reported to them, in the 3 months directly after the EU referendum, with more than 14,000 Hate Crimes being reported and 10 forces reported more than a 50% increase on the previous 3 months.

Whilst the figures are alarming and saddening, in equal measures, Stop Hate UK is not entirely surprised by them.

During the same period, as part of our day-to-day work to support those affected by Hate Crime, we saw first hand what was happening all across the UK, between July and September. In the 3 weeks directly after the referendum result, our own statistics saw a 60% increase in incidents reported to us, via our reporting channels.

Across the quarter, which covers the same 3 months as the police figures, Stop Hate UK recorded an increase of 32% in reported incidents overall and, whilst motivations of disability and gender identity were comparatively static, incidents motivated by race saw a 55% increase and those motivated by religion an 80% increase.

Stop Hate UK welcomes the release of these figures into the public domain, as it does now put into direct context the impact of the ‘Brexit’ campaign and it’s undeniable effect upon incidences of Hate Crime in the UK, which was doubted and even dismissed by certain sections of the media and across the political spectrum.

To find out more about Stop Hate UK and our work, visit www.stophateuk.org or email info@stophateuk.org

My Month at Stop Hate UK, Brexit, Pride and Rejection.

I started my month’s placement with some expectation of the charity world, with experience from Oxfam and local community centres, I thought I knew what to expect. But Stop Hate UK seems a unique charity, small in size but big in support. 

What struck me most was the resilience of the staff, day in day out – through their 24-hour helpline they are faced with hard hitting, often heartbreaking stories from those in need of a friendly ear and informed advice. 

After Brexit, it was more difficult for me to stay optimistic about universalism and societal acceptance, but Stop Hate UK was continuing to lead the way to an open dialogue between the people experiencing discrimination directly, and the Police. The importance of reporting Hate Crime became very obvious, very quickly. By reporting, and recording Hate Crime, it is the only way that the Police services and other protectionary bodies can be aware of what is going on a grass roots level which shapes action and prevention.

Despite the sense of national tension and uncertainty at the time, the office was overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity from individuals and organisations standing up against racism and discrimination of all kinds. With the sale of T-Shirts, proclaiming: ‘You are welcome here!’ with proceeds, sponsored walk, sky-dives, people had united to say ‘Yes’ to Brexit but ‘NO!’ to racism. 

Throughout my placement I worked on various aspects, which I appreciate Stop Hate UK trusting me with, from creating a Fundraising Pack to applying for a grant for Leeds Pride 2016. I proposed a project for Leeds Pride, with an artistic twist aimed at increasing the Stop Hate UK’s publicity through a Facebook campaign. 

However, the effectiveness of the Social Media platform is nothing new to Stop Hate UK, as avid networkers and tweeters, with hashtags flying everywhere, I felt like a novice in the field in comparison. I even witnessed the preparations of a collaboration with Twitter, (YES TWITTER!) for an anti-hate speech online campaign. This was cutting edge stuff!

Unfortunately, my Leeds Pride Grant application was unsuccessful. Even though I had true belief and passion for the proposed project, sometimes, or even often, you will not get the funding you want and believe you should. That is the real world. Much like Brexit, big decisions can be out of your hands.

However, in terms of Hate Crime, if you are being abused and discriminated against, you should know that Stop Hate UK is here to back you up and will endeavour to ensure you feel safe and in control. 

I would like to thank Stop Hate UK, an organisation made up of amazing individuals for teaching so much and really inspiring me for the future! 

Joselene

Hate Crime incidents soar in wake of Brexit vote

New Home Office figures have just been released and show that the number of hate crimes leapt by 41% in the month after the vote to leave the European Union.

The data, collated from 31 police forces showed that in the two weeks prior to the referendum, including the day of the referendum itself (23rd June), they recorded 1,546 racially or religiously aggravated offences.

Hate Crime Increases After Brexit Vote

In the fortnight immediately after the vote to leave the UE, the number had climbed to 2,241. There was also an increase in racially and religiously aggravated offences recorded in June, followed by an even sharper rise in July 2016.

And, although Levels of hate crime and racist incidents have since declined but remain significantly higher than last year. Overall there were 52,465 incidents of hate crime in the year ending March 2016, an increase of 19% on the previous year.

Stop Hate UK is not surprised by today’s official figures, as it confirms what we ourselves had been seeing and hearing across our reporting platforms. However, we feel that people need to be aware of the true facts and statistics, so that more incidents of Hate Crime are reported to the police or to organisations like Stop Hate UK.

You can read more by looking at the articles from The Independent.” and ‘The Guardian’.