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Onside Launches With Northumbria PCC

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, has been joined by Newcastle United Foundation Patron Shola Ameobi to launch ‘Onside’, a programme that will tackle discrimination across the region.

The programme, which will be rolled out in 40 schools from September, has been launched thanks to a successful funding bid to PCC Vera Baird, to help raise awareness and resilience of hate crime.

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

Year 3 and 4 pupils at Mountfield Primary School had the chance to ask Shola about his life in football and he shared some  experiences of discrimination that he has witnessed.

The Onside programewill be delivered across Newcastle, Gateshead, North Tyneside and Northumberland. 

It forms part of a project funded by Ms Baird to help the Foundation to increase local people’s understanding and awareness of those around them and support the Foundation in tackling hate crime.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird, said: “Through our great partnership with the Foundation over the last few years through the Building Bridges Programme – I know that the Newcastle  United Foundation is committed to making a difference to the lives of young people. Educating them through their passion for football, at a young age, is a great way of engaging with them on very important issues developing their awareness and understanding of those around them.”

Andrew Foster, Programme Manager at Newcastle United Foundation said: “We’re hugely excited about Onside and the impact we know it will have educating young people in our community about equality and diversity.  Our ongoing work with the PCC is something we’re really proud of because it gives us the opportunity to deliver programmes that raise awareness of issues and give young people the tools and information to help address them, if the situation arises.”   

Foundation Patron Shola Ameobi added: “It was a pleasure to join Vera to launch Onside.  It was really interesting to chat with the group and to discuss the questions they had about racism.  As a Dad I feel that it’s really important that children learn about equality at the earliest possible age and for the Foundation to be able to do this through the power of football, with the support of the PCC, is fantastic.”

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