The number is up for hate crimes in region
A PROJECT to tackle hate crime across the Swansea Bay region will be set up, thanks to a grant of nearly £500,000.
And Swansea Bay Regional Equality Council's (SBREC) chairman, Taha Idris, has praised lottery funding after they also received £3,000 earlier this year, to deliver workshops to year seven pupils.
SBREC aims to use the £499,530 they will received over a three year period, for a project to engage 5,000 people and 100 organisations to address hate crime in terms of race, religion and disability in the Swansea and Neath Port Talbot area.
Mr Idris said: "It's not started yet, we were told we would receive the grant over a period of three years, in June.
"We'll be looking at hate crime and hate incidents and tackling issues right across the area.
"We hope to be able to start that project in January."
But the council has already made a start at tackling issues surrounding equality with the younger generation.
It was given Big Lottery Awards for All funding in January, to deliver a series of diversity workshops to those in their first year of comprehensive school at three different schools.
"The impact of that is huge," said Mr Idris.
"The money for the larger project is over three years, but these are preparing the younger generation to know what each mandate of equality is.
"It's teaching them about what is race, what is a disability, what is religion and the discrimination that can be based on those subjects.
"It's had a big impact and the schools very much wanted to sign up for the workshops to be delivered."
Mr Idris praised the work done by all types of lottery funding and said the council was helped at the second stage of their application for funding.
"An officer from an organisation recommended to us by the Big Lottery Fund came down and went through the application with us," he said.
"The help and support available was very good, and we managed to get the funding."
Mr Idris added that the money was important to help the community, adding: "Our communities need to be looked after sometimes and people need to appreciate that in the public sector, the money isn't available that used to be. So the voluntary sector is filling the gaps.
"Now, not everything costs money, but certain things do.
"With the workshops we held, we brought in leaders who are experts in the field and spent time leading the workshops - but we can't expect them to be volunteers, they need to be paid."