Funding provided by the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner has provided young people involved with the Rotherham United Community Sports Trust the opportunity to produce awareness raising videos on hate crime.

The £4,955 awarded to the community sports trust from the Commissioner’s grant scheme has enabled the youth forum to set up a Facebook page to publicise the videos that focus on homophobic and disability related crime.

Dr Alan Billings attended the launch of the Facebook page on Thursday, 22 March at the Rotherham United Aesseal New York Stadium.  The event was also attended by Lord Mayor of Rotherham Councillor Eve Rose Keenan, Paul Douglas, Rotherham United Chief Operating Officer, local police officers and council officials, Rotherham United Community Sports Trust representatives and the young people who took part in the production of the videos.

The videos, which were showcased at the event encourage viewers to thing about the feeling of the individuals involved and raise awareness that what seems like banter, can cause offence and hurt a person’s feelings.

Dr Alan Billings said: “The messages involved in these videos are serious.   Some people think a little bit of banter between friends or colleagues is ok.  What they do not realise is that the person on the end of the joke doesn’t always see it as banter.

“The videos are filmed and produced by the youth forum and deliver important messages from young people to young people.

“Whilst explaining these serious issues, you can see that the young people enjoyed producing the videos and learnt new skills in the process.  Well done to all involved”.

The youth forum includes 40 young people from Rotherham who were all involved in the production of the videos.  They now plan to visit schools across Rotherham to further raise awareness of the issue of hate crime and homophobia.

Jamie Noble, Head of Rotherham United Community Sports Trust said: “It is with great thanks to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Dr Alan Billings himself for attending the launch event, that the great millers youth forum has been able to deliver a vital project to explore the meanings and implications of hate crime and allow these young people to express their feelings to others in an informative way.

“Our students enjoy coming to the New York Stadium every day to study but we want our students to leave our educational setting with as many enrichment experiences which make them better citizens in Rotherham”.

You can view the videos produced by the students on the Facebook page here – https://www.facebook.com/HateHurtsSYP/