Professionals and volunteers in Bath and North East Somerset are invited to learn more about tackling hate crime at an event in Bath on October 18th.

Stand Strong Against Hate is open to people working in sectors including community safety, education, housing and health and offers an afternoon of talks from Avon & Somerset Police, Bath Ethnic Minority Senior Citizens Association (BEMSCA), The Diversity Trust, Off The Record, WECIL, and Bath Inter Faith Group.

The event has been organised to support National Hate Crime Awareness Week running from October 14th to 21st, an annual event to raise awareness of hate crimes and support those who have been affected by them.

Stand Strong Against Hate will take place at the Guildhall in Bath on October 18th from 2pm to 4pm and people are invited to book tickets in advance. The event is supported by local charity SARI (Stand Against Racism & Inequality) which provides free and confidential support for anyone who is a victim of hate crime in the Avon and Somerset area.

There will also be a two-part event to support the disabled community in B&NES on Sunday, October 22nd at the University of Bath. From 10.00am-11.30am at the Edge Studio there will be talks and stalls from some of the partners attending Stand Strong Against Hate, followed by a Wheelchair Basketball exhibition and taster session at 11.45am at the Founders Hall.

Councillor Tim Ball, cabinet member for Neighbourhood Services, said: “We are committed to tackling all forms of hate crime and strive to make Bath and North East Somerset a welcoming place where all residents are shown respect. The Stand Strong Against Hate event will help professionals and volunteers who support our local community to learn more about how hate crime impacts people across our area. It’s great news that there will also be a special event for people with disabilities where you can find out more about the specialist support available. We hope to see a diverse mix of people from all sectors at these events and encourage you to come along and network, learn and stand against hate.”

Alex Raikes MBE DL, Strategic Director at SARI, said: “At SARI we see the pernicious effect of hate crimes and incidents in our communities. It is a human rights abuse that has a profound and enduring impact on victims, on their families and friends and on the community around them. Our collective goal is to shine a spotlight on this critical issue. Hate crime knows no bounds – from verbal abuse, to assault, to murder, to genocide – this is why we all need to recognise it as a current issue and do more to actively challenge it and to stop it getting worse. National Hate Crime Awareness Week is an opportunity for us to come together, foster understanding, and elevate awareness. We firmly believe that by uniting, learning, and listening to one another, we can improve our practices and create a more inclusive and harmonious community for all.”

SARI, The Diversity Trust and SWAN will also be running a free hate crime training session on October 4. For tickets follow this link: Every Victim Matters- Hate Crime Awareness Session Tickets, Wed 4 Oct 2023 at 14:00 | Eventbrite

Hate crimes can be reported to the police online, by calling 101, or 999 if an immediate danger. Anyone needing support can call Victim Support on 0845 4566099 or SARI on 0117 942 0060.