The Anne Frank Trust UK believes everyone should live in a society safe from prejudice & discrimination, where everyone can thrive. They use Anne Frank’s inspirational life & diary to empower young people & offenders in prison with the knowledge, skills & confidence to recognise, challenge & resist all forms of prejudice, discrimination & division. They partner with schools, local authorities, the criminal justice sector, community groups & others to deliver our programmes in a variety of settings. Our impactful core programme includes an interactive exhibition on Anne Frank’s life & diary, workshops, peer education & a young Ambassador programme. Last year they worked with over 100,000 people across England & Scotland.
They have been running History for Today, Voices for Tomorrow projects, funded by BSBT since 2017. In that time, they have reached 31,112 children, young people and adults from 53 primary and secondary schools across 5 areas of England.
Young people are able to use the knowledge they have gained and the lessons learnt from the Holocaust and apply them to prejudice in todays’ society, regardless of the group it affects. Following the programme, 97.2% of the young people improved their attitude to at least one other social group. Longitudinally, 67% of young people whose attitudes improve following the programme still maintain these positive attitudes three years later. (Changing Attitudes of Young People Towards Other Social Groups, University of Kent, 2019)
Young people’s understanding of the dangers of prejudice and discrimination and their willingness to challenge and defend against prejudice-related behaviour – whether in schools, local communities or online – will shape how they all live together in a more safe and inclusive society. Rising community tensions and spikes in reported hate crime particularly since the 2016 referendum and subsequent events evidence the desperate need for young people to develop critical thinking skills, an understanding of shared values and being equipped to challenge prejudiced and discriminatory attitudes.
“The exhibition has been a brilliant chance for reflection. I’ve drawn comparisons between prison life and what Anne Frank went through. They may be in smaller cells, but our doors open – hers remained shut. Despite being in prison I’ve been fed, clothed – I’ve learned to accept my current circumstances and to be grateful for the little things. It’s taught me to be more tolerant.” Mo, serving offender, Guide, HM Prison Wormwood Scrubs
Through learning about Anne Frank and the history of the Holocaust, our activities impart knowledge about the damage prejudice and hateful attitudes cause. They also empower young people and adults to take a stand against it and embrace positive attitudes, personal responsibility and respect for others. The gravity and scale of the Holocaust is a powerful motivator, causing young people to take their role seriously and increasing the impact of the programmes.
“I came to the UK from Romania when I was a small child and I experienced discrimination from an early age. Being introduced to Anne Frank’s story inspired me to think differently – less emotionally – about being discriminated against. As an Anne Frank Trust Ambassador I have become determined to speak out against prejudice and help educate my peers and others about the detrimental impact to individuals and society of hateful attitudes and behaviours.” Stacy, 15 years old, Anne Frank Ambassador, Birmingham