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Portsmouth paves the way for the fight against extremism

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Last week Portsmouth hosted 25 delegates from other coastal cities, universities and social service departments in France, Belgium and the Netherlands to begin a new project to develop new approaches to tackle extremism.

The 3 year EU funded project Orpheus will work in partnership to build resilience within young people, strengthen online safety measures and build a EU prevention model for violent extremism.

The project is supported by local charities and schools, in addition to the Home Office and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, who will distribute the findings when they become available.

John Webster and Charlie Pericleous, Orpheus project officers at Portsmouth City Council, said "Working with young people to develop online safety and critical thinking skills is hugely important in protecting against extremism and working with EU partners only strengthens our approach".

The visitors worked on a communications strategy during their visit and visited the city's iconic Spinnaker Tower as well as touring the Historic Dockyard.

The delegates were really impressed with Portsmouth saying: Hilde Lauwers from the City of Mechelen Belgium, programme manager of Orpheus said "working on a project with international partners is always interesting and challenging. Being welcomed in the beautiful city of Portsmouth where we were able to share its history, present and future through our visits to the Spinnaker Tower and HMS Victory, made it all the more special and stimulating. Thank you Portsmouth!"

Marcin Sklad of University College Roosevelt in the Netherlands said "the whole visit was fabulous, the Spinnaker tower, especially the glass viewing levels were mind blowing, the visit to the HMS Victory was fascinating and the welcome we received was exceptional"

Councillor Lee Hunt portfolio holder for community safety in Portsmouth said "This project shows Portsmouth's commitment to safeguarding children by helping them build a fairer, tolerant and inclusive future for our city where extremism and prejudices of all kinds is a thing of the past.”

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