Workshop tackling radicalisation held in Hove

Saleha Jaffer, founder of FAST
Saleha Jaffer, founder of FAST

An event aiming to help families spot the signs of radicalisation was held at Hove Town Hall yesterday (February 15).

Civil society organisation Families Against Stress and Trauma (FAST) hosted the workshop as part of its Families Matter campaign.

It aims to provide support and guidance to parents and anyone else concerned that their loved ones may be vulnerable to radicalisation or to being targeted by extremists. FAST hopes that by using real life case studies and providing expert advice, that parents will feel empowered to intervene and stop radicalisation at its early stages.

The event was attended by members of the local community of all ages, faiths and backgrounds. Participants shared their own experiences and discussed the impact of radicalisation and possible signs to look out for.

The session was part of a series running nationwide to reach out to parents and families through a series of workshops, film screenings and one-to-one advice sessions.

Saleha Jaffer, founder of FAST, said: “As parents, friends and community members we must all do our bit to stop terrorism in its tracks.

“Family members know their loved ones better than anyone, and are often best positioned to intervene if they have concerns a loved one is at risk of radicalisation. While there is no exact science in spotting the signs, many of those who are radicalised are often very vulnerable young people.

“Communities need to be bold enough to debate what the signs of radicalisation look like so we stop extremists and their venomous ideologies ever taking hold.

“We want attendees to leave sessions feeling empowered and aware of the resources, support and practical advice available to them if they are concerned about someone close to them.”

Chief Constable Simon Cole, national policing lead for Prevent, said: “The consequences of radicalisation can be devastating for families. We have seen mums, dads, brothers and sisters shocked and heartbroken by the actions of a loved one who has been drawn into extremism.

“Lives can be ruined or even lost unless someone intervenes. Knowing what to look out for and who to turn to for support vital. These workshops provide invaluable help and advice.”

The work of FAST has been endorsed by Prime Minister Theresa May who has attended previous events hosted by the organisation.

Anyone with concerns about a loved one at risk of radicalisation should visit: familiesmatter.org.uk/take-action/spot-the-signs/