The University of Westminster will host independent charity Encompass, providing office space at the University’s Harrow Campus in the years ahead. The charity will provide Westminster students with training and volunteering opportunities as well as work placements while it continues to focus on its core programme.

Encompass is a charity dedicated to fostering inter-cultural understanding and runs international and UK programmes aimed at challenging stereotypes. The charity runs international programmes with young people from Israel, Palestine, USA and Indonesia, and works in the UK to build understanding between young people from diverse backgrounds and faiths. Its aim is to challenge and change prejudiced attitudes, build trust and inter-community cohesion, and facilitate initiatives between young people from different faiths and communities that build skills, improve their confidence and self-esteem and give them a voice.

The charity’s aims tie in with the University of Westminster’s vision, mission and values which include being a diverse, connected and inspirational learning environment as well as a responsive, metropolitan and cosmopolitan university serving the needs of diverse communities.

The University of Westminster will offer the charity office space at a peppercorn rent and students will benefit from being able to take part in shared projects and volunteer work. The University’s partnership with the charity aims to benefit students by equipping them with the understanding and skills to undertake projects and positively influence others in their own communities. There will be opportunities for a number of students to receive training and to volunteer in support of Encompass’ Schools ‘Bridge’ Programme.

David Shacklady, Director of Student Affairs at the University of Westminster, said: “We welcome the opportunity to host and work with Encompass and share their objective to ‘encourage and facilitate cultural understanding and cohesion’. We expect that our students will, through participation in Encompass programmes, gain the skills and confidence to be able to promote tolerance and diversity in a variety of settings.”

Encompass founder and Chair Alex Braden said: “The aims and ideals of Encompass Trust are very closely aligned to the inclusive principles that govern the University of Westminster. Even more so in these difficult times, we believe that it is essential for young and old from every cultural and religious group to find the will and the way to talk and to listen to 'the other'; to understand both their different outlooks and their shared humanity. We look forward very much to developing our relationships with all parties and individuals at Westminster and to a long and fruitful liaison.”

Encompass – The Daniel Braden Reconciliation Trust (usually known as Encompass Trust) was founded in 2003 by the family of Daniel Braden, killed in a terrorist attack in a Bali nightclub. Determined for something positive to emerge from the tragedy, his family established the charity in order to foster inter-cultural understanding between young people around the world. Encompass has worked with 1,300 young people since 2003 both in the UK and internationally.

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