Strengthening and Safeguarding Communities
Will Baldet Leicester's Prevent Coordinator
September 6th 2012
Leicester’s St Philip’s Centre announces the appointment to a new post which aims to strengthen city communities and stop people from being drawn towards radical beliefs. Will Baldet comes to Leicester with years of valuable past experience. Until now he has been working in the East Midlands as the interface between community groups, partner organisations and the police to help meet the threat from extremism and radicalising influences, an issue he knows is all too real. Tried and tested in some challenging situations, he has been at the forefront of helping safeguard communities and has come up with good ideas and practical solutions to build resilience and strengthen community life.
This appointment, funded by the Home Office, is to co-ordinate the preventative strand of the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy CONTEST in Leicester. The aim of Prevent is to help communities develop the resilience to counter the national threat in all its forms. The post, based at Leicester’s St Philip’s Centre, reflects Leicester’s determination to empower the community itself with the support of partner agencies to address these difficult challenges.
Will, formerly Northamptonshire Police’s Prevent Engagement Officer, commences his new job on October 1st 2012. He says: “I am excited to be working in Leicester to support communities in resisting those divisive influences that seek to undermine them. For me, Prevent is about empowering people and institutions to stand against those who cause harm to promote their own agenda. I feel privileged to be part of the St Philip’s Centre and help build on the remarkable work of Leicester’s communities.”
On commencement of his new role, he will work closely with local people, the city council, the police and the Home Office to equip communities with the knowledge and support they need to stop people, especially young people, from being radicalised.
Revd Canon Dr John Hall, the Director of the St Philip’s Centre says, ‘The Home Office and the city council agreed to the St Philip’s Centre hosting the post because of its excellent track record of work on community cohesion and with different faith communities. It is really important this works well for everyone in Leicester and we are determined that it will.’
Cllr. Manjula Sood, assistant city mayor for community involvement and chair of the Leicester Council of Faiths said: “I welcome the appointment of Mr Baldet to the post of Prevent Coordinator. The St Philip’s Centre has a national reputation for its excellent work in bringing together different faiths and different communities. The Centre has already provided training for more than 600 public workers in Leicestershire on building good inter-faith relations. We are very confident that the new Prevent Co-ordinator will have excellent support from the Centre to build on the good work already going on in Leicester.”
The St Philip’s Centre is based at Stoughton Drive North. It provides training for public, private, voluntary and faith sector groups and organisations to learn about different faiths and their role in society. It also helps people of all faiths to learn from one and other.