You are viewing blog items for September 2016.
posted by: HOPE not hate Merthyr | on: Wednesday, 14 September 2016, 18:26
Wales’ recent #TogetherStronger success in Euro 2016 brought the country together, enthusiastically united behind a common cause.
Sadly we didn’t win the Euros, but what we did win was a sense of unity and pride in our nation.
At HOPE not hate Wales we wanted to continue spreading the high hopes of the #TogetherStronger message to places like Merthyr Tydfil, which has a history of welcoming people from all across the world.
That's why this Sunday we'll be celebrating this history with #TogetherStrongerMerthyr, a football match between a local Merthyr team of Polish and Portuguese players and Merthyr League’s Quar Park Rangers.
The aim of the match is to celebrate the diversity of Merthyr and continue making sure that it remains the friendly and welcoming place we know it to be.
The event will be attended by star guest Chris Coleman (Welsh FA Coach), with music throughout – for the reasonable price of completely free – so make sure to come along!
Posted: 14 Sep 2016 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Jemma Levene | on: Thursday, 8 September 2016, 14:05
It was just a normal (crazily-) busy day in the HOPE not hate office, when we took a call out of the blue from a friendly-sounding woman called Jude. She told us her partner was a ‘drummer in a band’ and would like to put on a gig for our benefit.
Skip forward six weeks later and we're standing among a crowd of 6,000 people at The Brixton Academy – and The Libertines are about to be welcomed on stage! The roar was huge and this was the finale to an amazing evening. Alongside The Libertines were Rat Boy, Tom Grennan and Yak, with all proceeds from the evening going to support our future work.
Earlier in the day Libertines drummer Gary Powell – who created Unity Rocks (which put on last night’s gig) as a response to post-Referendum racism and divisions – had appeared with DJ The Last Skeptik on Facebook Live, talking about those Brexit divisions and the reason behind his creation of Unity Rocks.
When the drummer of a band as big as The Libertines decides it's time to make change, it seems mountains can be gently nudged aside to create a fabulous new platform for artists to identify with a positive message of common humanity. We consider ourselves fortunate to have his support and can’t thank him enough for his efforts.
Of course, this summer did expose terrible divisions and tensions lurking in areas of the UK. But it also showed a huge outpouring of positivity and hope: we’ve been heartened to see literally thousands of individuals get involved in our #MoreInCommon campaign, bringing people together around shared values.
We’ve had people taking on sponsored bike rides, charity runs, swims and other challenges for our benefit, as well as gigs, theatre shows and thousands coming along to our #MoreInCommon events. We’ve seen just how much a message of hope resonates with people, many of whom have never come across our work before.
Standing in a crowd of thousands, all wearing HOPE not hate badges and singing along word-for-word with Pete and the band, we really felt that the message of unity was something that resonated with all last night. Thank you again, Gary, and all the bands who took part.
We hope that Unity Rocks is something which grows and grows, because based on last night's storming success it’s clear that Unity does indeed Rock!
Posted: 8 Sep 2016 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Jemma Levene | on: Monday, 5 September 2016, 12:40
We caught up with our Head of Organising, John Page, just after he completed his Open Water Swim at the beautiful Lake Coniston, to find out how it went…
John, you’ve just swum the length of Lake Coniston, how long is that?
It’s five and a quarter miles
And how long did it take you?
Four hours, 38 minutes and 2 seconds
How are you feeling physically and mentally?
Physically, I feel wrecked! My arms are aching, but mentally, I feel very good. After the first two miles it became a test of endurance, and the last mile was particularly difficult. But I just stayed in the frame of mind, that I was going to finish.
Have you done anything like this before? What made you do this now?
NO! I have never done this before, my partner swam 10k of the river Dart last year and was keen to swim Coniston, I suppose I just got caught up in the enthusiasm!
Tell me more about why you chose to support HOPE not hate through this challenge?
Well, I don't think there is a better cause to support. The work we do in communities is so essential to stopping those who seek to spread division and hatred, and our research team are worth their weight in gold. BY getting inside the mind of the far right, they are able to minimise a lot of their attempts to exploit people's fears.
What was going through your mind as you swam?
It was all about kidding myself that it was not much further. So the first two miles, I told myself was the distance I had done regularly as part of my training. When I got to two and a half, I was half way there, when I got to three and a half, that was the longest I had swum previously. Once I got to four miles, I was 80 percent there etc. Interestingly, I constantly discounted the last quarter of a mile, as I assumed that by that time I would not need to motivate myself. But it was the hardest part. I was tired, and the finish line did not seem to be getting any closer.
If you had the chance would you do it again, or are you thinking of a new challenge now?
I suspect I will be foolish enough to do it again!
What would you say to anyone thinking of taking on a physical challenge like this?
Go for it!
Thanks so much John, the whole team is in awe!
There is still time to sponsor John and Jane at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=Hopenothate&isTeam=true
Posted: 5 Sep 2016 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments