Choices and Voices was aimed at young people in Coventry who were at risk of radicalisation. Funded by the Home Office through the West Midlands Police Counter Terrorism Unit in 2014, the project combined workshops, a field trip to Belgium and Remembrance Day assemblies. The project aimed to encourage young people to examine the choices that people made during the 1st World War in order to question prejudices and stereotypes, for students to understand how conflict arises and how extremist ideologies can be developed via propaganda and misinformation.
27 students aged 13-18, with support staff, were carefully selected from a cross section of students from three secondary schools, accompanied by media students from Coventry University, who recorded the visit.
Schools held focus discussion groups after the visit, exploring diversity in service, remembrance and recognising that choices and actions have consequences.
‘The elements of diversity within World War 1 came as a shock to some students.’
‘An amazing discussion with my students was held … it was very evident that the students were able to evaluate and talk about pre-conceptions’.
‘Students clearly learned about propaganda and who could be affected by it. They clearly know what is right and wrong and were happy to discuss issues’.
‘The students were excited to spot so many graves from other religions and countries!’
‘We have looked at many different ways soldiers have been remembered and I believe that the students have developed a deepening respect for what is done in terms of remembrances’.