Interfaith ‘Dragons’ Den’ at Windsor Castle raises £ 70,000 for projects
A TOTAL of £ 70,000 has been pledged to support interfaith projects in a The dragon’s lairstyle event at Windsor Castle last week.
The funding of the projects follows a collaboration initiated by the online journal Jewish News (News, 10 May 2019) between British Muslim TV, the Church hours, and Coexist House.
With the support of the interfaith organization Kaiciid, which sponsored the event, the leaders spent the night at St George’s House, within the grounds of Windsor Castle, and presented projects to three generous “Dragons” who were willing to spend £ 10,000 of their own money. to bring projects to life. At the event, £ 70,000 in cash and in-kind marketing support was pledged.
Among the projects supported by the Dragons – Muddassar Ahmed, Dr Neil Harbury and Christopher Kenna – was a project that will train 40 young people and 20 religious leaders in mental health first aid in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, as well as in Birmingham and the South Midlands. .
The offer impressed entrepreneurs after its proposers, Joséphine Davidoff and Ryad Khodabocus, were able to nominate an already successful pilot of the initiative which had been featured on BBC News. “If they are successful it will make a real difference to the communities they have identified,” said Dr Harbury.
A second project also funded at the event, Hope Heroes, seeks to challenge harmful media stereotypes with a series of 21 children’s books about pioneering people of diverse faith and backgrounds.
Inspired by books that challenge gender stereotypes, the team introduced the books to children ages 7 to 11 to replace negative stories with positive stories. Mr. Ahmed, who heads Unitas Communications, said: “He has fantastic potential to help highlight the contributions of people of faith to the community.
“The more we can highlight the positive impact that people of our faith and other faiths have had on society, the better it is for everyone.”
The team behind the bid, which included Katharine Crew, Dr Kevin Shang and Hashim Bhatti, said: “It was a fantastic experience. We look forward to working with the Dragons on the next steps.
A third project, presented by Lauren Keiles and Sharon Booth, was praised by the Dragons, who pledged to use their networks to help the initiative, but did not raise enough funds this time around. It aimed to put together an anti-racism work program in ninth grade courses to combat the rise of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.
In a session co-chaired by Andrew Gilbert, who chairs the 21421 Selection Panel, the teams were then advised on how they could move their projects forward.
Mr Kenna said: “It was an absolute pleasure to meet people presenting companies with the sole purpose of helping people across the spectrum of faith,” he said. “I look forward to getting involved both as an investor and, hopefully, as a mentor, to help these fantastic faith-based businesses thrive. “
Rabbi Alex Goldberg, of the Center for Religious Life and Belief at the University of Surrey, was among those who supported the two-day initiative. He was impressed with all the projects, he said. “To make real long-term change you need allies, you need solidarity, and why not do it with other people of other faiths?
“Beliefs have things in common, and it is a shared belief that we are the stewards of this planet, a shared belief that we need to take care of the weakest in society, and that there should be a safety net. for those who are going through difficult times. “
Michael Wakelin, executive chairman of the Religion Media Center, which managed the event project, said: A better place. “
Talks are now continuing for a second cohort, involving people of multiple faiths, including non-Abrahamic faiths.
This is a modified version of a Jewish News report, used with permission.