Prince of Wales hears about army engagement with ethnic communities

Leicester [United Kingdom], Jan.30 : His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales was briefed on the on-going work between the Army and ethnic minority communities during a flagship event at St Philips Centre, Leicester recently.

Army formations from across the UK, including the Nottingham-based 7 Infantry Brigade and Headquarters East, also known as The Desert Rats, HQ London District and 4 Infantry Brigade based in Catterick, showcased a range of multi-faith engagement activity undertaken last year that highlighted how they are engaging with different ethnic minority communities to build lasting connections and mutual trust.

Guests included the many community leaders that the brigades are working with to strengthen integration through dialogue and understanding.

This included the Karimia Institute who, along with 15 other Muslim organisations in Nottingham, signed the Armed Forces Covenant in December.

Army Reserve Unit, 158 Regiment RLC that has squadrons based in the East Midlands and East Anglia briefed His Royal Highness on the work it has been doing with the Muslim, Sikh and Hindu communities in Leicester.

His Royal Highness also heard about the work of 7 Infantry Brigade and Headquarters East. The Deputy Commander Colonel Stuart Williams spoke to The Prince of Wales about the close links the Brigade has built with the Muslim and Afro-Caribbean communities across the East Midlands.

Dr Hussain Musharraf of the Karimia Institute, Dr Ezekiel Alawale of God's Own Vineyard Ministries and the Reverend Canon Christian Weaver from the Pilgrim Church were amongst the guests.

Lieutenant Colonel David Utting, Head of Engagement at HQ London District, spoke to His Royal Highness about how the London HQ is working hard to break down barriers and misconceptions in the Boroughs of London and the relationships that the Army has built with local communities.

Every external activity organised by HQ London District has a multi-ethnic and multi-faith dimension. The District also organises specific events with particular faith groups. For example, it joined the Sikh community in commemorating the Battle of Saragarhi. The Prince of Wales also met six Cadets from 193 (Southall) Detachment, XIX Company Middlesex and North West London Army Cadet Force who spoke about life in the cadets including visits to local temples and Army units.

Lieutenant Colonel Mark Hunter, SO1 MCI (Military Civil Integration) for ethnic communities at 4 Infantry Brigade spoke about how the Catterick based Brigade is working with the Huddersfield Pakistani Community Alliance.

Four young people from the Huddersfield Pakistani Community Alliance demonstrated first aid skills they had learnt on an Army Insight day organised by the Brigade.

Later His Royal Highness met Peterborough Cadet Lion Kheswa who attends Thomas Deacon Academy and is a member of its Combined Cadet Force.

Lion was presented to His Royal Highness in recognition of his actions in helping prevent a suicidal woman from jumping from the top of a multi-storey car park.

Lion built up a rapport with the woman and spoke to her until the Police arrived. 14-year old Lion was praised by the Police for his actions. The Commander Home Command, Lieutenant General James Bashall, the General Officer Commanding Regional Command, Major General Richard Stanford and military representatives from 11 Signal Brigade and Army HQ North West were also in attendance.

Music was provided by The Band of The Brigade of Gurkhas. The event was one of four engagements His Royal Highness was attending in the city..

Source: ANI