A series of animated films have been launched to show how young people can get help if they are feeling pressurised into extremist behaviour.
Produced by the West Sussex Youth Cabinet members alongside West Sussex County Council, the videos focus on three topics which they agreed were most relevant to people of their age - online gaming, animal rights, and family & faith.
The Youth Cabinet, a group of 11 to 19-year-olds elected to represent the views of young people, started looking at radicalisation and extremism as it was felt there was not enough material available aimed at their age group.
Stephen Hillier, County Council Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “The Youth Cabinet is such an impressive group of individuals. I know a lot of adults who don’t truly understand radicalisation or extremism.
“With these videos, the Youth Cabinet has managed to give easy-to-understand, relevant examples of how people could fall victim to radicalisation. Many people relate the word ‘radicalisation’ with religion but it can relate to all extreme views such as political and social.
“But these videos are not just about explaining radicalisation, they also show how easy it is to get help and in a number of different ways. I would recommend these videos to everyone as it can be all too easy to feel helpless – you are never alone."
A range of focus groups took place ahead of the videos being produced to narrow down the types of extremism and the important key messages needed in the videos.
The Youth Cabinet then helped to create all three storylines, write the script, develop the storyboard and decide the style of the videos.
Youth Cabinet Member Kelly Balmer, 17, from Worthing, said: “This video will help young people understand radicalisation and how to recognise and prevent it if it will ever occur, to themselves or their mates.
“The video idea came off the back of another campaign called ‘don’t hate, educate which was an anti-racism and discrimination campaign and the topic was recognised national issue for young people.
“I think it is quite a niche project, and it’s on an issue which isn’t recognised as much as it should be.”
It is hoped that the videos will be shared in West Sussex schools.
To view the videos and find out more about radicalisation, visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/prevent.