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Raising awareness of disability hate crime through drama

Bristol hate crime trainersThis week (13-20 October), is National Hate Crime Awareness Week. In my role at Brandon, I deal with disability hate crime reporting and training in Bristol. We’re part of a multi-agency team coordinated by the police, that plan awareness events, and aim to encourage people to report incidents of disability hate crime. We engage people through drama, theatre, and performance.

Throughout the awareness week, we’ll be present at the Zion Arts Centre in Bishopsworth. The old chapel, which has been renovated into an arts space, hosts many interesting community and diversity events. I’ll be there with assistant trainers Jemma and Dan, 10am-1pm on Friday, 19 October, running an information stall and answering any questions you may have about hate crime. We might even be tempted to perform a short sketch or two in the café and will definitely be sampling the delicious homemade cakes!

During the week, I'll also be talking about disability hate crime with Avon and Somerset British Transport Police who have organised a full programme for, 'A Celebration of the Diverse Workforce'.

Since last year’s Hate Crime Awareness Week, we’ve been increasingly busy with invitations to deliver training on disability hate crime, including mate crime, which is becoming much more widespread. We’ve also been involved, performing at safeguarding conferences.

Through our work with the Disability Working Group, safeguarding teams are keen to fully train staff in how to identify disability hate crime. This has been a great piece of collaborative work. Previously many such exploitative cases were safeguarded, but not identified as hate crime.

Hate crime sketch at an eventAnother part of our work that has proved to be successful is delivering tailor-made performances. Feedback from audiences at recent learning disability celebration and community health events showed that they find the involvement of people with learning disabilities and autism, and drama, both empowering and impactful.

My trainers and I are also working with Brandon to develop an e-learning training package for staff and a training video which we’ll also be able to use externally alongside our hate crime workshops. Right now, we’re excitedly preparing an event for Disability Hate Crime Day in November. Keep an eye on our website for more details.

If you need to report a hate crime, get advice, book a training workshop, or add a bit of zing to your event, please email Sarah.

Sarah Howard
Hate Crime Team Leader

Photo 2: Ellie Pipe, Bristol24/7