Stories of Former Violent Extremists (UK)

A project by: ConnectJustice


WE RAISED £8,120

from 88 donors

This project received pledges on Fri 03 Apr 2015
Preventing Violence with Experience


So, you've watched the news and you may know there are about 500 British people currently fighting for the terror organisation 'Islamic State' in Syria and approximately 50-60 who've gone out there are young girls. At the same time, there's been a rise in attacks and extremist activities by far right groups leaving some communities feeling vulnerable and scared. So, we need YOUR HELP as we want to raise around £17,500 to film the stories of 5 former far right and former Islamist extremists, whose experiences and knowledge may help prevent others following the path of violence. We know that the personal stories of formers are powerful, because they've "been there, done that" and they understand more than anyone else why people turn to extremism in the first place. We want to stop others making that mistake. The project aim is to create 5 punchy, 3-minute films for FREE ONLINE USE as an instant resource for communities, schools, and the public at large. If we received £25,000 then we would create a longer film with more stories lasting 30 minutes which will explore the issues in more depth.

Who are We?

We're Zubeda and Laura. We're the founders and directors behind ConnectJustice which is a social enterprise based in Birmingham, UK whose aim is of keeping all our communities safer and we do this by enabling democratic engagement to build resilience. 

We don't shy away from addressing difficult topics as we're passionate about making a practical difference. We work on challenging social justice topics, such as violent extremism, child sexual exploitation and gangs, and bring different groups together to create community led solutions, and also help relations between communities and the government and police. 

We're experts in our field and have worked in this field for over 10 years with police, communities and local authorities in the UK. As a result, we were invited to the White House extremism summit in Feb 2015 to share our knowledge and expertise of UK civil society on this topic. We try to make sure our communities remain at the heart of problem solving - and we want to involve more people like you! 

our story

We agree that the government, police and security agencies have an important role to play, but we know that the difficult issues that lead to radicalisation need addressing from within all our communities. That's why we think this innovative, social media friendly filming is important so we can hear real life stories directly from those who've "been there, done that" and who want to genuinely stop others from making the same mistakes that they did. With YOUR support and funding, it means we can get the films circulated to a bigger audience, start to get communities working together and - ensure we ALL do our bit.

So what will you help fund? Crowdsourcing will help us to produce a practical, online video capturing the stories of former UK extremists because connecting with credible voices is important in preventing and halting the path to violence. We want to build on our 2014 EU funded Formers research (for which ConnectJustice interviewed former UK far right and Islamist extremists) to complement the joint research being undertaken by Dutch and Danish researchers (report due May 2015). We've already forged strong relations with former violent extremists who used to be in highly influential positions within their groups, and some of these formers are willing to tell their stories online - which we feel is a brave move. 

By using their expertise and combining this with the powerful medium of short films, we believe we can provide compelling, accessible resources to educate. Our experience in mentoring and engaging with communities in honest debate, and connecting with credible voices, will help provide one solution in halting a path to violence. Our films, produced by ChouetteFilms, will be visually striking, playing on the power of each personal story (both former far right and Islamist extremists), and address the questions that people are often afraid to discuss openly. 

Your Support


i) YOUR HELP TO RAISE THE MONEY so that the project remains CREDIBLEINDEPENDENT, COMMUNITY-LED AND FUNDED so that we can hear actual stories of FORMER EXTREMISTS. 

ii) The independent nature of crowdfunding support is important because it means our audience trust us and want to  engage with us at grassroots level.  

iii) YOUR SUPPORT AND INPUT so that we can help strengthen people's resilience to violent extremism.  

Where will your money go?

Our minimum target of £17,455 will cover the full production of our 5, 3 minute films and create a free online resource. 

If we are lucky enough to raise £25,000 or more, we will be able to create an additional deeper, longer film and distribute it more formally, according to budget, achieving even more impact. 

Cost Summary

1. Chouette Film cost of 5 stories (inc music/research/editing/design)                             £11,955.00

(Production per video is normally £3985, but we've secured a 40% discount)                                                                                    

2.  Participant expenses                                                                                                       £1,750.00

3.  Project management/marketing and campaign costs                                                    £3,750.00

 TOTAL MINIMUM COST                                                                                                 £17,455.00

your Reward...

All progress and information will be updated for all our supporters with credits in the films followed by a warm team glow!

Find us here


Twitter:                 @ConnectJustice or @ZubedaCJustice

LinkedIn:             ConnectJustice

Remember to FOLLOW US to find out how we're doing!!

Help us succeed!

We need your help in promoting the Formers project:

i) CLICKITY CLICK. You don't need to give money to help us succeed! Please share this project with anyone you think would support us – on Twitter, YouTube link, LinkedIn, by email, telephone, in a chat over the fence or on your blog.

ii) SHARE: In fact, share it with everyone you know as we think it's a great idea, and the more people who know about it, the more likely we are to make this work out brilliantly.

iii) MONEY: And we know we said you don't need to give money to help us, but we'd love it if you did! Please sponsor us and help make this happen.