Community solidarity as a staggering 900 new and former volunteers sign up to support CST

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Community solidarity as a staggering 900 new and former volunteers sign up to support CST

'It says a lot for our community that this was one of the first things that people did after October 7,' says Dave Rich, head of policy at the charity that protects British Jews from antisemitism

Jenni Frazer is a freelance journalist

CST volunteers in training
CST volunteers in training

A remarkable surge of communal solidarity in the wake of the 7 October atrocities has seen almost 1,000 new recruits and returning volunteers step up to support the Community Security Trust (CST).

“This is a fantastic response”, Dave Rich, head of policy for CST, told Jewish News. “At the moment we have 2,500 trained volunteers nationwide, so this is going to make a massive difference to our work. It says a lot for our community that this was one of the first things that people did after October 7”.

He said that everyone was being interviewed and vetted, but that some people were already on training courses, run by CST. He expected that it would take a few weeks before every one of the new volunteers was processed and trained.

CST’s latest figures show that between the October 7 terror attacks and October 31, there were at least 893 antisemitic incidents across the UK — the highest ever total reported to CST across a 25-day period.

In just over three weeks, CST has recorded more antisemitic incidents than the 803 reported in the first six months in this year.

Meanwhile the community organisation monitoring Islamophobia, Tell Mama, which CST helped to set up, has documented 400 anti-Muslim cases in the last three weeks. Dave Rich said that CST and Tell Mama representatives frequently took part in the same meetings with police. “But aside from that, there are personal contacts. We are friends.”

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