The Skinhead

Dave Allport DipHE, MA

Co- Founder Me&You Education, Founder / Director Rewind UK Ltd.

" 'Race' isn't real, we have much more in common than some would like to admit..."

Dave animation
Say what?

Yup that’s right and if you disagree with this statement I would love to know why you feel this way. The name’s Dave and I have been involved in challenging racism(s) and extremism(s) of different forms for over 26 years. They’re complex issues to say the least! There are so many perspectives, angles and often distortions that need to be assessed before you even begin to tackle it.

My background as a qualified Youth Worker (later to complete a Masters degree in Applied Community Studies) led me to work at an African-Caribbean Resource centre for 7 years, a Muslim Community centre for 4 years and also in working class White communities where racism, and at times, Far Right activity were pretty rife.

Back to basics

All of these experiences helped to shape the REWIND UK Project, which I began to develop during my Detached Youth Work with White and British Asian Muslim young men. I brought together groups who were in violent confrontation and I’d take on residentials, where they worked together and were given the space to talk honestly about their respective issues.

From a personal perspective, it helps that I have gone through various ‘sub –cultures’ that lend themselves to assist me even today in my one to one work with individuals and also with groups. These are, in chronological order: Skinheads, Suedeheads, Boot Boys, Football Casuals and all of the associated fashions (and behaviours – nuff said!). I still love the ‘gear’ and the music now by the way! Ska’d for life!!

Without all of these experiences, I wouldn’t be the person I am today and I think it is crucial that you don’t forget where you came from. In my case, this was from a very working class background, working in the Foundry industry for 16 years (I still maintain that this was the hardest work I have ever done!)

So far it’s been a pretty good run…

REWIND UK has received national and international recognition, for example being featured on the BBC World Service and being recognised as ‘good practice’ at a World Conference on Racism.

Closer to home in the UK, I have been a member of an All Party House of Commons group on Conflict Resolution, advised Government on issues of Far Right extremism and been featured in numerous publications recognising the Project.

Here are a few of my achievements:

  • Setting up ‘satellites’ of REWIND project across the UK
  • Delivered training, schools work and Youth work in over 350 areas of the UK
  • Conducted workshops in different parts of Europe
  • Carried out over 200 interventions with individuals
  • Worked with groups from EDL (including the ex-leader), National Front, Combat 18, Aryan Strike Force, National Socialist Movement and many more
  • Registered OSCT Intervention provider on Far Right
  • Home Office Quality Assured Trainer
  • Qualified Youth Worker
  • Masters degree in Applied Community Studies from Birmingham University

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