Britishness, Identity and Belonging is an exciting project designed to explore young people’s perceptions of what it means to be British in post referendum Britain. The first phase of the project ran in the 2018-2019 period in close collaboration with partnership secondary schools and two local youth groups. Young people in the 14 to 21 age group volunteered to take part in our focus group interviews providing us with rich insights into their views of identity, citizenship, family origin and religion.
The young people told us that they want:
- More anti-racist and political education.
- Open, honest debate and opportunities to talk about the social issues affecting their lives.
- Opportunities to learn through experience through exchange visits such as school linking events.
- Opportunities to learn about cultures and religions by visiting faith communities and meeting people of faith.
In the first phase of our project we organised linking events. At our first event, students and teachers from an Islamic and Church of England faith school spent a day together sharing their faith and beliefs. Our second event involved young people and faith leaders from a local ecumenical youth group and post 16 students based at a local Islamic school exploring their beliefs and values.
Our plenary event was a young citizen’s roundtable discussion where they shared their hopes and fears for the future in post Brexit Britain.
Our project has given valuable insights into young people’s concerns. In the next phase of our research we are planning further young citizen’s civics events including roundtable debates and further school linking events.