County joins bid to kick out racism

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STAFF and councillors at Northumberland County Council are backing the Show Racism the Red Card campaign in its bid to become the Football Association’s Charity of the Year 2011.

The charity, which has been tackling racism in the North East since 1996, has been delivering workshops in Northumberland’s schools since January 2010 and has already worked with hundreds of young people in the county.

Members of the charity’s education team have been working alongside ex-professional football players such as Newcastle’s Olivier Bernard and John Anderson, Middlesbrough’s Curtis Fleming and Dean Gordon and former Sunderland captain Gary Bennett to deliver sessions to show how racism can be stopped by working together.

As part of the bidding process for the FA title, Show Racism the Red Card has been asking members of the public to lobby their local MP to sign an Early Day Motion in Parliament, which has already been signed by more than 60 MPs and sign display boards across the region.

Northumberland County Council’s Chief Executive Steve Stewart and Coun Lesley Rickerby, Executive Member for Children and Young People, were at County Hall last Friday to sign a board to promote the campaign.

They were joined throughout the day by representatives from sponsor Potts the Printers, Craig Bankhead, Show Racism the Red Card’s education manager, and a selection of footballers including Bernard and Trevor Benjamin, former Leicester City forward and current player/manager for Morpeth Town.

County council staff and elected members are being encouraged to sign the board that will be displayed in County Hall throughout October.