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Onside Celebrates Tackling Discrimination!

Over 100 school children celebrated their involvement with Newcastle United Foundation’s Onside programme, funded by the Northumbria Police and Crime Commission, at St James’ Park earlier this month.

 The event, which was attended by Dean Lowery from the Police and Crime Commissioners Office and Steve Swinyard, Head of Safeguarding, Welfare and Equality at Newcastle United, saw the children competing in groups to produce the best poster to help tackle discrimination.   After much deliberation the children from Bede Academy and Holywell First School were named worthy winners!

All the attendees also enjoyed a tour of St James’ Park as a reward for their hard work all term. 

Onside has been delivered in 40 schools across Newcastle, Gateshead, North Tyneside and Northumberland, engaging 1000 children, since March 2016. 

The initiative aims to use the power of football and real life case studies to discuss the effects of racism, sexism, religion and bullying.

The programme aims to increase local people’s understanding and awareness of those around them and support the Foundation in tackling hate crime.

Clive Campbell, Bede Academy Year 5 Teacher said: “Thanks very much for hosting us. I thoroughly enjoyed the day. It was a huge success and all of the children that attended commented on what a great experience it was. They enjoyed the stadium tour, the group activities and of course designing the winning the poster. They also told me that they have enjoyed the sessions in school and have learnt a lot from the whole experience. This will definitely be something the school will be investing in next year.”

Steve Swinyard, Head of Safeguarding, Welfare and Equality at Newcastle Unitedcommented: “I was delighted to be able to support such a great event. The day itself was a fantastic showcase of how our Foundation innovatively tackles complex social issues such as discrimination and hatred – issues which are really important to us as a Club.  It was clear form speaking with the children on the day that they had been enthused by the project and it was evident that the project had made a real difference to them in terms of their knowledge and understanding of these issues.  The standard and detail of the work on display was impressive.  I look forwards to seeing and hearing of future projects of this nature. “

 Adam Herczeg, Senior Project Officer at Newcastle United Foundation added: “It was brilliant to bring so many of the children that have been involved in Onside together at one event. The poster task really highlighted just how much the pupils have learnt from the sessions.  Their attitude and approach to the topics have been so impressive and I’m really proud of them for seeing how important it is to have a diverse and equal society.”

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