Cash boost to tackle racism

Merton awarded £40,000 to fund two arts projects

Merton Council has won a £40,000 grant to help fight racism by educating school children and young people who are seen as potential racist offenders.

The money has been secured from the London Arts, Creative Neighbourhoods Programme and will be used to set up storytelling and theatre projects that will explore issues of race and intolerance in a bid to educate and change attitudes.

Merton is one of only six boroughs in the capital to land the money and the projects will be launched in May 2002. The first project, Combating Racism – Urban Bloodlines, is a storytelling project for schoolchildren aged 10 to 14, with involvement from teachers and local community groups that will tour schools in the borough.

The second project will see the Cardboard Theatre Company hold workshops with young people aged 14 to 17 who are clients of the Youth Offending Team. The company, together with the young people, will then go on the road and hold performances at schools, youth clubs and community centres in the autumn.

Councillor Su Assinen Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: ?I?m so pleased we have been awarded this money that we can use to fund two really exciting schemes to challenge racism and the thinking behind a great deal of it.

Councillor Maxi Martin, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: ?I hope both of these projects will be thought provoking and engaging for the young people taking part and those who will see the results as an audience.

?We need to work together to get rid of racism and I wish everyone involved with both projects the very best of luck.?

Anyone who would like more information on the projects should contact Breffni O?Rourke 020 8545 4146 or Iqbal Husain 020 8545 4197.