Twenty-three women took part in the Women Building Resilience Course last Thursday and Friday at Stanton Bridge Primary school.
The course is part of a number of prevent initiatives that Coventry has promoted on tackling violent extremism.
One parent attending the course said: “Any child can be attracted to extremist groups. Parents have a role to play in protecting our children”.
The course is practical and interactive and included opportunities for debate and discussion.
The workshops delivered allow participants, a safe space in which to discuss issues which were of concern and also for the trainers Balbir Sohal and Viv Brosnahan to be able to offer practical support and assistance.
Issues that the course covered included; current issues on living in the UK included examining the issue of social media, the impact on communities, in particular focussing on Islamophobia.
Participants looked at case studies and also discussed their role as; mothers, daughter, sisters in how they could protect their families. The last session looked at their role as (in) reducing the attraction to extremist ideologies and what they could do, what they needed to help them recognise and respond to warning signs of radicalisation.
Mothers in particular can be seen to hold valuable information on what makes an individual vulnerable to radical influences regardless of economic, political and socio-economic factors.
Balbir explained: “Mothers are the starting point for building resilience within their children’s early years of development as well as being the first to recognise and address signs of distress such as anger, withdrawal and anxiety. Therefore, they are best placed to help to address radicalisation before it escalates into violence”.
Sofina Islam OBE, Headteacher at Stanton Bridge Primary School agreed. She said: ‘We have a role to play as educators in ensuring that the community in which our school resides is active in alerting families to potential harm and minimising this through preventative actions. This course has had a significant impact on raising awareness amongst the most influential people in our pupils’ lives - the parents’.