FAMILIES Against Stress and Trauma (FAST) held a workshop in Ealing borough today (8) as part of its Families Matter campaign. 

The workshop, at the Community First Foundation at Gainsborough Tower, Academy Gardens, Northolt, was attended by borough people of all ages, faiths and backgrounds.

They shared their own experiences and discussed the impact of radicalisation and possible signs to look out for.  

Families Matter aims to provide support and guidance to parents and anyone else concerned their loved ones may be vulnerable to radicalisation or targeted by extremists.

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FAST hopes that, by using real life case studies and providing expert advice, parents will feel empowered to intervene and stop radicalisation at its early stages.

Today’s session was part of a series running nationally to reach out to parents and families through a series of workshops, film screenings and one-to-one advice sessions.

Cllr Saleha Jaffer, founder of FAST said:  “As parents, friends and community members we must all do our bit to stop terrorism in its tracks.

“Family members know their loved ones better than anyone and are often best positioned to intervene if they have concerns a loved one is at risk of radicalisation.

“While there is no exact science in spotting the signs, many of those who are radicalised are often very vulnerable young people.

“Communities need to be bold enough to debate what the signs of radicalisation look like, so we stop extremists and their venomous ideologies ever taking hold.”

Chief Constable Simon Cole, national policing lead for Prevent, said: “The consequences of radicalisation can be devastating for families. We have seen mums, dads, brothers and sisters shocked and heartbroken by the actions of a loved one who has been drawn into extremism.”

The work of FAST has been personally endorsed by the Prime Minister, who has attended previous events hosted by the organisation.

If you have concerns about a loved one that might be affected, you may want to raise the issue with someone you trust. Visit: http://familiesmatter.org.uk/take-action/spot-the-signs/