Across the country Oasis Academies exist to create ‘exceptional education at the heart of the community.’ To realise this vision, our teachers and staff are always looking for ways for our students to raise their aspirations, and to take part in activities that promote inclusion, equality, healthy relationships and hope. Students at Bradford’s Oasis Academy Lister Park have had two such opportunities this week.
The Academy became the first school in the north of England to be accredited by the anti-violence charity White Ribbon Campaign, for its work to tackle violence against women and girls. Founded in 2005 by Chris Green OBE, White Ribbon Campaign UK believes that ending violence against women requires changes in male attitudes and behaviour.
The Campaign encourages men and boys to become part of the solution – to speak out about male violence against women and girls and challenge negative gender stereotypes. Four students and four members of staff have become White Ribbon Ambassadors to champion the cause at the school.
On hearing about the Academy’s work, Rev. Steve Chalke MBE said “Over thirty years ago, my wife and I began Oasis when we opened No. 3, a hostel in South East London, that to this day provides a safe place to stay for homeless young women who otherwise would be vulnerable and alone. I am therefore delighted that our Bradford school, Oasis Academy Lister Park, is contributing to this vital work and continuing this legacy, as recognised by the White Ribbon Campaign today. Together we must raise awareness of violence against women, and ultimately eradicate it.”
The Academy is also taking part in a new scheme that invites role models in to speak to students about their careers, to inspire and motivate them to follow their dreams.
Chief Superintendent Mabs Hussain, the highest ranking Asian officer in West Yorkshire Police, visited the Academy to speak with the young people about how he has overcome barriers to achieve.
Just five percent of police officers come from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities, but the Bradford born Chief Superintendent is now the District Commander for Wakefield, and he wants to encourage the students to raise their aspirations and realise that they can achieve their ambitions, whatever they might be.
You can watch an interview with Mabs and the inspiring impact he had on some of Oasis Academy Lister Park’s students by clicking here, beginning from 55 seconds.