Celebrate Northampton’s diversity this Hate Crime Awareness Week (13 to 20 October) by signing up to become an equality ally.

The equality ally scheme is being launched during an afternoon tea event at the Guildhall by Northampton Borough Council and partners on Tuesday, 16 October. All are welcome to find out more about the scheme, which aims to promote equality for everyone, uniting our communities and creating a culture of acceptance and support.

Equality allies will be encouraged to wear a brightly coloured, heart shape pin badge during the national Hate Crime Awareness Week to demonstrate their support of equality and raise awareness of how anyone who feels they’ve been affected by hate crime, can get support.

A hate crime is any criminal offence or incident, which is perceived by any person as being motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on personal characteristics such as age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, race and faith.

A hate crime can be reported on the Borough Council’s website or to Northamptonshire Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

Anyone who wants to sign up to become an equality ally will also be able to visit information stalls of local support organisations in the Courtroom between 12pm and 2pm on 16 October. In addition they will be able to find out more about a series of podcasts called ‘What’s the storey’. These podcasts aim to increase acceptance and understanding of others by hearing real stories from real people. Anyone who would like to sign up to share their story, can do so at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdsC25FN_isy_9l1SsUQKekggddROEglRdNFF7xtFSX4t9RfQ/viewform?c=0&w=1

People will also be able to sign up to become an equality ally during a special screening of The Greatest Showman at Northampton Filmhouse on Thursday, 18 October at 6.30pm. Before the screening begins, Northampton Inter Faith Forum will be sharing a short film with attendees about equality, through the eyes of children. Tickets for the screening can be purchased at: www.northamptonfilmhouse.com/films/thegreatestshowman

A Remembering Srebrenica walk on Sunday, 21 October will close the week of awareness activities. The four mile walk will begin at 12.30pm from the Pavilion in Becket’s Park and will take in various faith venues where participants will be welcomed inside for a tour and short talk. The walk is scheduled to finish around 4.30pm at St Anne’s Orthodox Church in Cattle Market Rd.

Anyone who would like to take part in the walk can sign up by emailing sueward80@hotmail.com and making a small donation to the Remembering Srebrenica charity at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/vicki-rockall

Cllr Anna King, Cabinet member for community engagement and safety, said: “We’re pleased to be working with partners to deliver a range of activities that help to celebrate the town’s diversity as well as to raise awareness of what hate crime is and how people can get support.

“The launch of the equality ally scheme is a perfect way of challenging discriminations and promoting equality and acceptance. We encourage people to pick up one of the free pin badges from the Guildhall or at one the events we are hosting and wear it, with love, throughout Hate Crime Awareness Week and beyond.”

To report a hate crime online please visit www.northampton.gov.uk/info/200258/community-safety/23/hate-crime