Commonwealth Project

The proposed establishment of a Commonwealth War Memorial (CWM) in Bradford is SHAPE-UK’S flagship project which is being delivered in partnership with Bradford Council and other partners.

There are 5 different aspects to the Commonwealth programme we aim to deliver in Bradford. An explanation of each different phase is given below but in brief these are:

  1. Establishing a Commonwealth War memorial
  2. Schools & Community Design programme- Community involved in the design of the CWM.
  3. Providing details of the CW contribution to be integrated into school curriculum.
  4. Digitising War Memorabilia: preservation of memories for future generations.
  5. Creating a space to exhibit the journey of the CW project.

The purpose of this project is to:

  1. Initiate a campaign to recognise the Commonwealth nations’ participation in WWI, WWII and ensure the Commonwealth contribution is recognised on par with the respect and honour currently bestowed upon the UK’s indigenous war veterans’ community 

The proposed establishment of a Commonwealth War Memorial in Bradford (CWM) will be a befitting source of remembrance to recognise the sacrifices and efforts of those who contributed to the UK’s war efforts from Commonwealth countries. It is envisaged to bring the Commonwealth contribution on par with the gratitude and honour currently bestowed upon the UK’s indigenous veterans. Historical evidence indicates that around four million soldiers and auxiliary personnel from the Commonwealth fought for Great Britain in WWI, WWII and other campaigns. A significant proportion – around 29% of Bradford’s current population includes residents with heritage mainly from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh and other nations, which are all constituents of the current day Commonwealth. Many of their ancestors will have fought for Great Britain: lost life or limb or were subsequently invited to the UK to help rebuild Great Britain after WWII. Their contribution is seldom recognised and for too long, the Commonwealth contribution has been overlooked and forgotten. A memorial in the North of England to recognise their struggles is long overdue. The City of Bradford has been a home to people of Commonwealth heritage for over half a century. Our community organisation, SHAPE-UK (Bradford) submitted a proposal to the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council (CBMDC) to establish a Commonwealth War Memorial to coincide with their recent review on monuments and memorials in the city. CBMDC have enthusiastically welcomed this proposal and are supporting our initiative. There are different aspects of the CW project which are being developed concurrently. The main aim is to Increase awareness of the contribution of the Commonwealth in WWI, WWII and other campaigns by providing access to information, advice and signposting digitally on or near the memorial and through other social media.

  • School Pupils and Community involvement in design of the CWM.

As part of our community engagement and increasing awareness of the subject we are also engaging local schools to learn about this aspect of our history. Thus we are encouraging school pupils to become involved in creating a design for the memorial.

  • Develop an academic research programme with a reputable university that provides an in-depth understanding of the extent of the CW contribution.

The school’s CW education programme is to be piloted in Bradford Schools which can be delivered in bite-size chunks and delivered to school pupils through the different learning key stages in schools.

  • Digitising War Memorabilia: preservation of memories for future generations.

Partly done this initiative involved people of all walks of life whose ancestors contributed to any of the UK’s war campaigns to come forward and digitise the memorabilia for future generations to view and learn from.

  • Establish A safe place for people to meet and view Commonwealth related exhibits and learn about the journey in picture and video footage.

Offer a safe space for all to meet at the heart of the community to remember all war veterans, the fallen and wounded who ‘gave their yesterday for our today.’

We hope the above will break down barriers and bring communities together to live in Harmony. Other benefits that transpire form this project is that it will engender a better understanding of the role of the UK Armed Forces by exploring the different roles (humanitarian, peacekeeping etc.) and drawing upon historical connections and Commonwealth heritage: thus creating a safe environment for veterans and the Armed Forces Community within local areas.

  • Youth Work
  • Education, Skills & Training
  • Employment Support

Our Projects at SHAPE

At SHAPE, our goal is to empower young people aged 16-18 from disadvantaged backgrounds. Our bespoke 12-month programme combines outdoor adventure and classroom-based workshops that provide life skills, career development, and education support.

Our Mission

Our mission at Shape UK is to provide resources, mentoring, guidance in education, skills, and careers to NEET & BAMER young people.

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Our program offers a unique combination of education, skills training, and sports activities to help disadvantaged young people reach their full potential. Let us help shape your future for the better.

Features of our 12-month programme:

Twice-Weekly (3 hours)

Our 12-month programme consists of twice-weekly sessions that are 3 hours long.

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Our programme has transformed the lives of NEET & BAMER young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, turning them into successful and confident adults.

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Before joining SHAPE, I had no direction in my life. Now, I am proud to say that I have a university degree and a promising career ahead.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Information & Answers for Parents, Guardians, and Candidates About Our Programme

What is SHAPE UK's programme?

SHAPE UK is a 12-month personal development programme for NEET & BAMER young people aged 16-18 from disadvantaged backgrounds.

What do the sessions involve?

Twice-weekly (three hours) sessions will include career support, CV workshops, college/university advice and application assistance, as well as outdoor sports, team building, and adventure training.

What are the benefits of the programme?

SHAPE UK’s programme focuses on building resilience, confidence, and character in young people, helping them to overcome challenges and become more independent and in control of their lives.

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