A week after the tragic events in Manchester and we are all still reeling from the shock, I felt compelled to write to express my total admiration for the all those involved in the devastating events that unfolded on the evening of Monday 22nd May 2017.
People who were going about their daily lives, as many are when these tragedies strike – treating their children to a pop concert by one of the most popular recording artists of current times, going to their jobs at the MEN Arena or driving their taxis to drop excited people at the venue – then, suddenly, in a single split second, their lives changed forever.
The immediate effects can only be described as devastating. The panic, horror and sheer terror that was undoubtedly felt by those at the centre of events can only truly be articulated by those that were there and I cannot comprehend how they must have felt at that precise moment, fearing that something terrible had just happened, without perhaps knowing just how terrible.
This brings me on to the reaction of not just those caught up in the epicenter of the tragedy, but to all those people that rallied round to help those affected.
The taxi drivers who turned their meters off to ferry people to safety; the people who opened their front doors to offer people shelter; other locals whose only thought was to head to the arena to see how they might be able to help and then every single person since who has offered their help and support, no matter how big or little that support, to those affected or involved in the incident.
There has been much talk since of the perpetrator and, quite rightly, police have acted quickly to close down the suspected network he has allegedly been working within but, what shines out like a beacon from all this terror and tragedy is the word ‘Love’ – not Hate – and that this is echoed from every community and every avenue of Manchester’s cosmopolitan and ethnically diverse culture.
We, like many organisations dealing with the impact of Hate Crime, have noticed a change in Hate Crime reporting since the tragic event. We have supported people who have been targeted because they are Muslim and have experienced some really nasty incidents. Some of these have been on the street but many have been online. Hate hurts however it is expressed and it’s another cowardly act. We must all work to ensure that the love and compassion we feel drowns out the Hate of others.
Let’s be clear, the perpetrators of this act of cowardice no more represent British Muslims than the brutal killer of politician Jo Cox represents white British people. That is demonstrated from the absolute condemnation from Manchester’s Muslim communities.
Stop Hate UK is proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Manchester and denounce the terrible events of a week ago and I myself am proud to see a community coming together in such an amazing and truly inspiring way.
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….
“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 is pleased to announce the recent launch of the 24-hour Stop Hate Line helpline service across Essex. The service has been funded by The Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex.
Commenting on the launch of service, Essex Police & Crime Commissioner, Roger Hirst, said:
“Essex is a safe place to live with resilient communities and strong relationships between communities, the voluntary sector and public services.
‘We need to make sure that we encourage the reporting of hate crime so that we can deal with it together. This is a confidential service designed to help encourage people to come forward and report hate crime but also access the support services they need.”
Rose Simkins, Chief Executive of Stop Hate UK, added:
“All forms of Hate Crime are significantly under-reported and some individuals and even whole communities are reluctant or unwilling to talk to the police or their council.
The Stop Hate Line, plus our other range of reporting channels, gives victims and witnesses of Hate Crime a safe and independent place to talk about their experiences and to explore their options for taking things further.”
“We are able to support people who feel they have nowhere else to turn. Contact with our helpline, or other reporting channels, might be the first time an individual has talked to someone about the things they are experiencing. Other people may have tried to get help but find they are not satisfied with the response they received. No one should have to suffer Hate Crime in silence. Sadly the occurrence of Hate Crime has increased nationally but, working together with The Police and Crime Commissioner, this is a trend we can reverse.”
People can contact the Stop Hate Line anonymously if they prefer. Where someone has chosen to give their personal details to Stop Hate UK, their trained staff and volunteers will ask who they want their details to be shared with. The charity can also share information with the police and council, with consent, to ensure that those affected by Hate Crime, in any way, can access the support they need.
The Stop Hate Line is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year on 0800 138 1625. The helpline is also available by text message on 07717 989 025 and by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Service users with Hearing Impairments can report via interactive BSL by clicking the link on our website www.stophateuk.org. Victims and witnesses can also chat on the web or fill in an online form by visiting www.stophateuk.org/talk.
Stop Hate UK is a national charity that provides independent and confidential support to people who are affected by all forms of Hate Crime. The Stop Hate Line is Stop Hate UK’s Hate Crime reporting and support helpline. Anyone in Essex can contact the Stop Hate Line to talk about how they have been directly or indirectly affected by Hate Crime.
The charity, whose Patron is Baroness Doreen Lawrence of Clarendon OBE, of Clarendon in the Commonwealth Realm of Jamaica, and ambassadors are Canon Mark Oakley of St Paul’s Cathedral and Great Britain athlete Adrian Derbyshire set up the Stop Hate Line in 2006 in direct response to Recommendation 16 of the Macpherson Report (the enquiry into the handling of the death of Stephen Lawrence) states that victims and witnesses should be able to report Hate Incidents 24 hours a day and to someone other than the police.
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 email@example.com
Due to popular demand, Stop Hate UK T-shirts are back!
That’s right, our fab new white cotton t-shirts have just arrived, featuring our colour logo and ‘Stop Hate. Start Here.’ branding, together with the hashtag ‘#NoPlaceForHate’, they’re a great way to show your support for our work and spread the word!
Available (initially) in sizes Large and XL, for £10.95 including postage and packing, they make a great gift for a loved one, friend or relative, just in time for Christmas, or just as a treat for yourself.
You’ll soon be able to buy them directly from our website, along with some other great Stop Hate merchandise, but you can pre-order yours now by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with your details and order.