Late November saw GAU heading down to East London and the Borough of Redbridge. We have been lucky enough to visit Redbridge in the past so we have friends and contacts there.
Redbridge was named after yes, a red bridge! The Borough Redbridge is a bustling area of Greater London and has many cultures, communities and faiths within its borders. One of the benefits of visiting this great area is we know some excellent restaurants.
The tour actually began on the 25th of November with a visit to Valentines School. We have spoken at this school before and we knew that this school was going to be a great start to the tour.
Beal High School was next up to a great reception from students and staff. Over the two weeks we spoke three times. This was the first time that we spoke at Beal however the students and staff were so friendly and warm.
Being back at Palmer Catholic was a great. This fine school had impressed us in all manner on the previous times we had visited. Once again the students and staff at this great school were so engaged with the GAU message.
Wanstead High School was our next destination. GAU had visited this delightful old red brick school in previous visits to the area. We had a wonderful visit once again.
Chadwell Academy once again proved to be a great venue. The students at this cracking school really understood and accepted the core message of GAU.
The morning of the 29th saw GAU at Loxford High School. GAU had been privileged to speak at this school in the past and once again we were treated with respect and sensitivity.
Isaac College Academy began our second week. Wow what a modern building with so many resources. The students and staff at this great school were so wonderful.
Burnside Academy is a small special school for those students who have difficulties with everyday school life, Burnside students proved to be quite wonderful and engaged.
The last school of the two weeks was back at Beal High School. When they found out that we had space in our itinerary they were eager that we would return. It was a very fitting end to the tour.
As you all know I am sure the early afternoon of the 29th saw that cowardly attack on innocent people begin. London Bridge was the scene of the attack and also the scene of something quite extraordinary. We saw brave strangers come together to stand against that cowardly attacker, they risked their lives to stop innocent people being attacked. This attack, as all attacks we have seen, was about the spreading of hate. This attacker wanted people to spread hate, to cause more division and discord. All of us saw how the people of London came together to reject that hate. Global Acts of Unity sends our hearts, thoughts and prayers to those families who lost their loved ones.
Understandably a number of schools decided that it was not appropriate for Global Acts of Unity to present at their schools. We hope that we will be able to visit them in the future.
Once again Redbridge proved itself admirably. We met old friends and met new friends. The students, staff and teachers of the Redbridge schools have been tremendous.
This tour although well started could have gone so badly after the attack on London Bridge, however it did even better. Yes we did have schools cancel and that is a decision that they rightly made for themselves. At the schools we did visit we saw such a rejection of hate. They, the students of Redbridge showed that they understood that acts of terror are about hate. It really has been an honour and a privilege to speak in Redbridge.