Schools say ‘Count us in’ in dynamic show of unity
Four Yorkshire schools became the first in the country to support a dynamic initiative that aims to unite Britain, bringing people of all races, faiths, religions and backgrounds together, in a shared celebration of British culture and values.
The schools, Christ Church Primary Academy in Shipley and three in Bradford – St Matthews CE Primary, St Francis Catholic Primary School and Dixons Music Primary – recently said ‘Count Me In’ to a campaign launched by One Britain One Nation (OBON).
This campaign is calling on British citizens young and old, whether at school, work, in their community or place of worship, to join together at 11am on 10th June in an act of unity that will give everyone a shared sense of belonging and inclusion.
More schools are likely to say ‘Count Me In’ in the weeks to come, as the OBON message spreads across the country, with the support of key figures, including celebrities and the Lord-Lieutenancy.
10th June marks the official celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday, providing all citizens with the opportunity to join together in singing the national anthem.
OBON launched its campaign at Bradford City Hall on January 2016. The council, religious leaders in the city, the police and fire services and the Lord Lieutenancy have all so far responded to the call to action.
The education sector has now joined the campaign, to play its part in integrating all pupils into British life and giving the nation’s future leaders an understanding of Britain’s core values – tolerance, kindness and mutual respect.
Children at the four schools staged practices of their singing of the national anthem last month and had fun waving Union Jack flags.
The participating schools were visited by OBON’s founder and CEO, Kash Singh, who has shaped OBON’s vision on the basis of the experience he gained when working in the once ‘tense and racially divided’ Manningham area of Bradford.
By bringing different sections of the community together, he worked towards changing the face of the district, helping to make it a much safer ward than it once was in Bradford.
The mission has some high profile supporters, including actress Joanna Lumley, and it has also been supported by the leaders of all of the major faiths in Britain, not to mention politicians, business people and heads of sporting associations.
Joining Kash Singh in his visit to the schools were Rugby Union legend and former England head coach, Brian Noble; Bradford Bulls’ chief executive, Robbie Hunter-Paul and Sir James Hill, Deputy Lieutenant of Yorkshire.
Kash Singh said: “It is vital we take our campaign to a grass roots level and to the cornerstone of our nation’s future – our children – so our country can continue to be diverse and eclectic, but also remain strong, united and inclusive.
“The schoolchildren did something every simple, which any school, individual, group, workforce or organisation can do.
“If people wish to organise street parties, decorate shops and fly flags, we’d be delighted to see that. We have OBON flags that they can order from us, if they wish to spread the message that we are One Britain, One Nation.”
He added: “I am so grateful to the Yorkshire teachers who are working with these young citizens and enabling them to play their part in a day that I hope they will remember for the rest of their lives.”