Colchester United Football in the Community have been announced as one of ten sports-based projects across the UK to receive funding to tackle extremism from the Home Office's Building a Stronger Britain Together (BSBT) programme.
The charity has been awarded £30,000 for its Unite Our Communities programme. The project will work with thousands of people in the area, bringing them together through sessions aimed at giving people a chance to talk openly about experiences in the community that may have had a negative impact on them.
The award is part of a wider announcement of £400,000 to ten sports-related projects across the country made by Baroness Williams, Home Office Minister for Countering Extremism, at an event held at St Andrew’s stadium in Birmingham last Friday (22nd June).
Announcing the funding, Baroness Williams, Minister for Countering Extremism, said: "The work that Colchester United are doing to bring people from a wide range of backgrounds together shows that sport has a uniquely powerful way to break down barriers and provide a common platform to unite us all.
"This is why Building a Stronger Britain Together is providing funding to organisations to strengthen our communities so that they can stand against those who seek to divide us with extremist views."
Other groups receiving funding include England Netball and football club foundations across the country.
Commenting on the announcement, Tom Tayler, Senior Development Officer at Colchester United Football in the Community, said: "It’s fantastic to be part of the BSBT network which gives us the platform to further positively impact the communities we operate within.
"We are proud of our community and this funding will allow us to continue playing a key role in the local area, impacting people positively through the power of sport."
They join a network of more than 160 organisations who have received support from BSBT since it was set up in 2015 as part of the government’s counter-extremism strategy.
It supports civil society and community organisations who work to create more resilient communities, stand up to extremism in all its forms and offer vulnerable individuals a positive alternative.
The BSBT network includes grassroots campaigns that bring together young people from segregated communities, build resilience to extremism and challenge extremist narratives.