Our Anne Frank Ambassador Charlotte from Bedfordshire shares her experience of working with the Trust…
I am a student who has been fortunate enough to take part in The Anne Frank Trust UK’s Ambassador programme. I hope to share my experiences with you here, as well as give you an insight into what The Trust is all about.
In February 2017, a group of my schoolmates and I were given a fantastic opportunity to become Peer Guides, which involved giving a presentation and tour of the exhibition Anne Frank: A History for Today – all about Anne’s life to our school, as well as members of the public. We were not the only ones who were so lucky, as students from schools all around Leighton Buzzard did the same – helping to spread Anne’s message of equality and social justice for all.
Many of the Peer Guides became Anne Frank Ambassadors, and we have since been involved in a range of fundraisers, awareness campaigns, and workshops. One of the first of these was a day of Ambassador training at Luton Hat Factory, in which we learned more about Anne’s story, and how prejudice played a part. We thought about how it was relevant today, and what we could do to prevent it.
In the September of last year, we held a miniature fête at our school, in which we raised £250 pounds for The Anne Frank Trust, and passed on a message of ‘love, peace and hippiness’. As well as serving as a fundraiser, our fête helped spread awareness about hate crime and prejudice – it was in memorial of Jo Cox, an MP who was tragically murdered by a political extremist. She stood for equality and for wiping out discrimination, and we hoped to reach out with her story and continue spreading her message. We also planned another, larger Jo Cox Get-Together in June. Since then, we have been keeping up activities, like setting up a stall to promote the Anne Frank Trust to prospective parents at our school’s open evening, as well as putting up a ‘Tree of Remembrance.’
Recently, we took part in a workshop all about the ‘Freedom Writers’. We were learning about a book was made up of diary entries by a group of students who had been so deeply affected by Anne’s story that they even turned their lives around because of it. The book was such a success that it was made into a film, which we watched several clips from. The film deals with the themes of prejudice and discrimination and explores how to combat them: exactly what we are looking to do in our own society.
On the same day, we had the incredible chance to look around an exhibition of the Frank family photographs. They were all taken before the family moved into The Secret Annexe – it was really interesting to see how similar an age Anne and Margot were to us.
In the future, we will be joining forces with an upper school near us to take part in the Trust’s Switch Off Prejudice programme – where we get to create our own films and create a social media campaign. We are really looking forward to learning more, and to continuing to help pass on Anne’s story to our peers and wider communities.
About the guest editor
Charlotte is an Anne Frank Ambassador from Fulbrook Middle School in Bedfordshire