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Shared Future Report: We Need a Change in Mindset

The ‘Shared Future report’, commissioned by Manchester’s mayor Andy Burnham after the Manchester Arena attack, was published a couple of days ago. Supported by six...

The ‘Shared Future report’, commissioned by Manchester’s mayor Andy Burnham after the Manchester Arena attack, was published a couple of days ago. Supported by six independent commissioners, the researchers engaged with thousands of people in Greater Manchester, so they could paint a picture of what life is like here.

The report found that the UK is unfortunately seeing rising levels of extremism across all communities. In order to stamp this out, according to Burnham, there is a need for a change of mindset for everyone. That’s because, although the report found that there is no single factor that causes someone to become radicalised, behavioural patterns caused by emotional changes can be an early indicator.

“In the aftermath of the horrific and evil attack on the Manchester Arena, people in Greater Manchester responded with a spirit of great defiance and solidarity,” Andy Burnham says. “The Deputy Mayor and I commissioned this report to see how we might capture that spirit on an on-going basis, with a desire to make our communities permanently stronger and safer.

“The truth is that we live in polarised times when violent extremism is on the rise in all communities. As the commission concludes, it is families, friends and neighbours who are most likely to be the first to witness changes towards more extreme behaviour that might lead to violence. This is not about encouraging people to spy on each other but creating a greater understanding of the signs that indicate where behaviour has crossed the line and then making it easier to report.

“Of course, the primary responsibility for tackling terrorism will always lie with the police and security services. They have our full support and they have done great work since the attack to bring those responsible to justice and reassure our communities. But there is more that we can all do to help them. The more we adopt a ‘whole-society’ approach to tackling extremism, the more effective it will be.”

One of the focuses of the report was how Prevent, the Government’s anti-terrorism strategy, operates in Greater Manchester. The commissioners found that while the principles that underpin Prevent are ethical, this isn’t always the perception that the people of Manchester have. This, the researchers speculate, could be due to a lack of information surrounding the policy.

At Hideaway, we can help you get your head around a policy like this, and answer any other questions you may have about issues, both big and small, that affect you. As Burnham said, we also want to keep up the community spirit on an “on-going basic”, and one of the ways we do this is by providing a space for young people to learn, play, relax or simply talk to someone.

Because that’s the thing, you can only create community spirit by talking with the people in your community. It’s well worth it – we can all learn something from one another.

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