Cumbrian Youth Speak Out Against Prejudice with Support from Anne Frank Trust

Young people from schools across the county came together at an event on the afternoon of Thursday 8th December, to launch the work of the Anne Frank Trust in Cumbria. The Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria, Mr Brian Scowcroft, officially opened the event at the Beggar’s Theatre, Millom. Also in attendance were Councillor Simone Faulkner, Deputy Mayor of Millom, Rabbi Danny Bergson and Dr. Martin Stern MBE, a Holocaust survivor.

The young people were showcasing work they have created with the support of the charity, which empowers young people aged 9-15 to challenge prejudice, inspired by the life and work of Anne Frank. Founded 31 years ago, the Trust works with schools around the country through its free programme of workshops, mentoring and online events.

The charity has now expanded its work into Cumbria, and thanks to generous funding from the Dulverton Trust, has so far worked with 11 primary and secondary schools.

Lorraine Jones is the Anne Frank Worker for the region. She says: “Since being appointed as Cumbria’s first Anne Frank Worker earlier this year, I’ve had the privilege of working with around 800 local young people on a range of projects. These include delivering workshops on antisemitism; taking 60 pupils on a trip to the Lake District Holocaust Project and making films that explore different prejudices. I’m so excited to expand our work across the region and work with even more schools and young people in the coming months.”

Earlier this week, the charity arranged for Martin Stern MBE ­- who was sent to Westerbork concentration camp in the Netherlands when he was just five years old – to deliver talks to students at both Dowdales School and Ormsgill primary school as part of its launch activities.

Mick Cull, Headteacher at Ormsgill Primary school said: “We feel so fortunate to be welcoming Martin into school to share his experiences with us. Although we are talking about an event from so long ago, we sadly still live in a world where hatred and prejudice take place. We know that education is the most powerful tool to tackle this. Our children have already heard about the impact of the Holocaust through sessions with Lorraine at the Anne Frank Trust, and hearing Martin’s story first-hand will help them learn what they can do to be champions of peace and understanding, both today and in the future.”

The launch event featured speeches and presentations from local young people on subjects including gender equality, racism and homophobia. The ‘Anne Frank: A History for Today’ exhibition remains open to the public at The Beggar’s Theatre until Monday 12th December, after which it will transfer to 6 libraries across Cumbria in January including; Ambleside, Grange, Ulverston, Windermere, Kirkby and Sedbergh.

Any local teachers, parents or pupils who are interested in the work of the Anne Frank Trust are invited to email Lorraine directly at lorraine.jones@annefrank.org.uk or visit the Anne Frank Trust website at: www.annefrank.org.uk


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