Our work in the UK is delivered in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
We work with a range of partner organisations to deliver a wide programme across all sections of society in the UK. Read highlights from the regions below and further stories of the impact Active Citizens has had on UK participants and partners.
In Wales we’ve established a powerful partnership with Women Making a Difference (WMAD). The organisation educates and empowers women across Wales to become leaders in their community.
In England Active Citizens has been delivering training through Leeds-based Together for Peace (T4P) in the city since 2010. Jill, a project worker there says the programme has given her organisation kudos and connections.
‘Active Citizens has allowed us to do some amazing collaborations. Some of our Active Citizens have been through the criminal justice system. I have seen people from all kinds of backgrounds meet up with police to discuss social action projects together.’
Active Citizens gave T4P participants living in an area affected by many social challenges, and some racial tensions, the chance to visit Corrymeela – a Belfast community known for its peacebuilding role throughout Northern Ireland’s Troubles.
They met former paramilitaries from both sides of the community who were working together for peace, Jill explains. ‘They were able to see for themselves the similarities between the Belfast communities and the tensions that exist at home. And we were able to share our learning as much as they were learning from us.’
In Northern Ireland we work with Public Achievement, Northern Ireland’s leading youth focussed civic education organisation. Active Citizens supports them in a range of exciting projects in their communities and schools.
Active Citizens works with Xchange Scotland to make a positive change in society. Through working with Voluntary Action Lochaber we work to make Lochaber’s Third Sector stronger and more efficient.
The importance of being unique: Beyond The Classroom, social enterprise
Active Citizen Amma Mensah, founder of theatre and education social enterprise Beyond The Classroom, was a participant in the third Serbia ISV. She was interviewed by fellow Shoreditch Trust Active Citizen, ISV participant and journalist Akilah Russell for the Voice newspaper – and has some important advice to pass on to other aspiring social entrepreneurs and Active Citizens.
Read more about why Amma Mensah set up Beyond The Classroom and how other young people can do the same.
Respect, understanding and communication: side by side
On July 22, Anders Behring Breivik, a Norwegian terrorist, performed two deadly attacks against the civilian population of his country. He wrote in his manifesto that one of his main purposes was to stop the Islamisation of Europe. Breivik believes that Muslims can’t live together with Europeans in peace, and must be expelled.
One month earlier, an Active Citizen from Israel in a visit to Salford in the UK experienced multiculturalism at its best. His participation in the programme encouraged him to start a theatre group for people with stutters.
Read more to hear about his experience as an Active Citizen working beside Muslims in the UK as an Israeli Jew.
Democratic dreams: why voting and participation matter
Democracy is demystified, and the ISV gets to see how voting and participation really makes a difference.
The group of Active Citizens are extremely lucky; their visit to the public gallery of the Houses of Parliament coincides with an appearance by Prime Minister David Cameron, who is debating the growing problem of Islamist insurgents in North Africa.
Read more about why voting and participation matter.
New ways of thinking: Salford
'Imagine, a group of 10 Israelis, mainly Jews, attending a wedding in which all of the hundreds of guests are Muslims, and being treated as close friends.'
In June a group of Active Citizens from Israel visited their linked community in Higher Broughton, Salford to find out more about their work on the ground, share experiences of social action and build closer links between their communities. This followed a visit earlier in the year when Active Citizens from Salford spent time in Israel learning more about their projects.
Read more about the exchange.
Sue Scott on visual impairment and the appreciating the arts
Sue Scott is visually impaired and involved with Bradford Talking Media, an organisation that provides people who cannot access the written word with audio information such as talking magazines and books.
Read what she had to say about providing for people with visual impairments in the arts.
From Cardiff to Cairo
Paula Manley and Rita Singh from Women Making a Difference, Wales, explain how they are inspired by their linked community in Egypt through shared learning and social action.
The British Council’s Active Citizens programme is a community empowerment and social action programme that builds lasting partnerships between communities in the UK and others around the world.
Through these community partnerships, the programme encourages long-term intercultural dialogue and global citizenship through shared learning and social action.
Last month, a group of Active citizens from Wales undertook an exciting visit to their linked community in Egypt in the aftermath of the revolution, to find out more about their work on the ground, share their learning on social action and forge closer links between their communities. Their visit followed a visit earlier in the year when Active Citizens from Egypt and Jordan came to Wales to visit the social action work there.
Read on to find out about the visit.