REConnecting Lincolnshire has arisen as a direct result of a growing number of concerns regarding Islamophobia amongst young people, their families and the wider community. We are aware of the impact of Islamophobic incidents, objections from parents/guardians regarding the teaching of Islam in school (a syllabus requirement) and increased tensions voiced through social media platforms.
In addition to these concerns, there has been a wider growth in religious and race related incidents following the EU referendum. Hate crime in Lincolnshire has increased by 26.3% (figures published by Lincolnshire Police 2017) and nationally, religious hate crime increased by 350% from 2011/12 to 2016/17 (Home Office Hate Crime England and Wales report 16/17).
The aim of this project is to work alongside children and young people to provide them with the tools they need to transform the local understanding of the rich diversity of religion and worldviews in the UK in order that all can live well together.
We are always seeking partnerships that will benefit the children and young people in this region: in a largely monocultural area of the country, it can be challenging to provide them with the encounter, aspiration and life experience that will help them prepare for life in modern Britain. We are hugely grateful for the support of the Johnson and Mukherjee Brothers Charitable Trust; it will enable us to work with a range of collaborative partners to ensure that the children and adults in the Magdalen Church of England/Methodist Primary School, Wainfleet, have the opportunity to be agents of change in their local region.
We look forward to sharing our successes and reflections in due course.
(Images from the first phase of REConnecting Lincolnshire, November 2016)