Our origins

During the mid-1990s gang-violence took place between young people from the Hindu, Muslim and Sikh communities of Slough and Southall. At the height of the tensions there were some serious incidents of racially-motivated violence.

The conflict received national media attention and on 30th March 1998, Channel 4 screened a documentary about the tensions entitled "The Peacemaker." The producers of the programme asked an international facilitator, Dr. Dudley Weeks, to mediate between the gangs. His efforts formed the focus of the documentary.

The mediation process successfully prevented the conflict from escalating. However, to build a lasting peace, Dr Weeks advocated the creation of a conflict resolution group that would be led by young people for young people. This resulted in the formation of the Aik Saath peer training team.

The first peer training team was established to challenge the prejudices that resulted in so much violence between young Asian people in Slough during the 1990s. However, the project quickly evolved to work with all young people, regardless of their faith or background. Slough has a rich and diverse community.

Leaving aside London, Slough can claim to be the most culturally diverse place in the United Kingdom. According to research conducted by the Commission for Racial Equality, if you were to pick any two people at random from Slough there would be a 62% chance that they would be from different ethnic backgrounds.

Slough has provided Aik Saath with an unrivalled opportunity to learn and develop new approaches to working with young people. We have used this knowledge to try to build peace and challenge racism in a variety of different locations in eleven different counties across the United Kingdom and in four London Boroughs.

Everywhere we work our ethos remains the same: young people first, together as one.