New anti-racism campaign launched

A CAMPAIGN to tackle racial abuse is being launched today with the support of footballers from Ipswich Town.Suffolk County Council's campaign will be promoted through posters on buses and leaflets distributed through a variety of locations around the county.

A CAMPAIGN to tackle racial abuse is being launched today with the support of footballers from Ipswich Town.

Suffolk County Council's campaign will be promoted through posters on buses and leaflets distributed through a variety of locations around the county.

The aim is to encourage those who have suffered or witnessed racial, religious, cultural or colour harassment to ring freephone 0800 138 1643

It is available in nine languages, including English. Callers can leave messages in French, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Farsi, Kurdish, Portuguese or Turkish, which will be translated into English so that practical action can be taken immediately.

Town defender Fabian Wilnis said: "We have all seen recently how football can be disfigured by the unacceptable face of racism. Ipswich Town has had to face this type of abuse on its travels. The last thing we want is for people in Suffolk to be subjected to such inhuman behaviour. We are backing the county council's campaign all the way."

Linked to this is a competition called 'travelling together...valuing difference' which will run for 10 months.

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Each month there will be a different multi choice question on facts about diversity in Suffolk, which will be featured on leaflets and on posters on the buses.

People wishing to take part can text or email their answers and each month the lucky winner will receive a meal for two at The Galley restaurant in Ipswich or Woodbridge.

Ugur Vata, owner of The Galley, said: "I have always found the people of Suffolk to be very welcoming. I hope this competition encourages everyone to learn a little more about their neighbours, particularly those who have most recently settled in the county."

Also launching today is a free counselling service for the victims of racial harassment. Trained counsellors who understand the impact of racial harassment are able to provide victims and their families with support to help them cope.

The service was successfully piloted through a number of agencies including the police, victim support and refugee centres.

Funding has now been secured to widen the Service and in future people will be able to personally apply for the service through the Racial Harassment Unit. Promotional posters and business-card size cards in five languages - English, Chinese, Bengali, Portuguese, and Surani -will be distributed in a variety of outlets throughout the county.

Kathy Pollard, Suffolk County Council portfolio holder for access, community involvement and consultation said: " In Suffolk we are determined to outlaw racial harassment and violence. We are equally determined to fully support the victims of such abuse and the counselling service is one more form of practical help we are able to offer."

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