#WeAreAllEngland: football could bring England together for Euro 2016

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Date April 2016

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CoVi is pleased to be supporting this campaign called #WeAreAllEngland which aims to get people from all backgrounds in England to come together to celebrate our shared identity. The campaign is led by British Future and supported by a range of other organisations, including Kick it Out, Facebook, the Islamic Society of Britain, Hindu Council UK, City Sikhs, Church of England Diocese of London, Jewish Council for Racial Equality, the Centre for English Identity and Politics at Winchester University, Eastern Eye, Abu Hanifah Foundation, Rich Mix, New Horizons in British Islam, Reform Judaism and the British Muslim Forum.

The England football team unites people of all races and faiths more than flags, St George’s Day or any other symbol of English identity. According to new research released this week by British Future, three quarters of the general public (74%) – and of ethnic minorities (74%) and Muslims (75%) – say that the England football team is a symbol of England that belongs to people of every race and ethnic background in England today, according to the Survation poll. That compares to much lower scores for other symbols of England, like the St George’s flag (all public 57%; BME 57%; Muslims 58%); a St George’s Day party (all 59%; BME 54%; Muslims 46%) or ‘calling yourself English’ (all 53%; BME 53%; Muslims 55%).

It is one month before England competes in the Euro 2016 football tournament in France. British Future is pleased to be leading a new campaign called #WeAreAllEngland which aims to get people from all backgrounds in England to come together to celebrate our shared identity. The campaign is supported by CoVi and other organisations, including Kick it Out, Facebook, the Islamic Society of Britain, Hindu Council UK, City Sikhs, Church of England Diocese of London, Jewish Council for Racial Equality, the Centre for English Identity and Politics at Winchester University, Eastern Eye, Abu Hanifah Foundation, Rich Mix, New Horizons in British Islam, Reform Judaism and the British Muslim Forum.

When the England team runs out at Euro 2016 we’ll all get the flags out together and shout ‘Come on England’. But outside the stadium, we English can struggle to show the pride we all feel in our nation. Some people worry about whether they’re allowed to celebrate Englishness, while others aren’t sure if they’re invited to the party.

The #WeAreAllEngland campaign will encourage thousands of people, from all faiths and ethnic backgrounds, to show their support for the England team by posting and sharing a picture of themselves supporting England, or doing their ‘England goal celebration’, on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter using the #WeAreAllEngland hashtag.

This is a simple act which reminds us that England is at its best when we all feel we can belong to it. Join us by sharing a photo of your support for England with the #WeAreAllEngland hashtag across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Steve Ballinger is director of communications at British Future.