This August our Anne Frank Ambassadors went on their first residential trip.

Coming together from across England and Scotland 17 young people aged 11-14 journeyed to Ambleside to stay amongst the stunning views of Lake Windermere and take part in work to further their journey as anti-prejudice ambassadors.  

With most of the ambassadors meeting for the first time, this was an opportunity for young people to come together under a common passion, step outside of their comfort zone and be inspired to use their voices to challenge prejudice.

I particularly enjoyed seeing the young people grow in confidence throughout the residential trip and go from shy strangers to a group that was trusting of one another - Callen, Anne Frank Worker

As always, at the heart of this residential was the story of Anne Frank and her experiences as a young Jewish girl during the Holocaust. Building on what they had learnt in previous workshops, young people began the trip by reflecting on the horrific consequences of antisemitism during the war as well as the continuing legacy of prejudice today.

The Windermere Children

Alongside Anne’s story, young people were introduced to the history of The Windermere Children. Arriving in Britain after being liberated from Nazi concentration camps in 1945, The Windermere Children were brought to the Lake District to build new lives.

Ambassadors met with award winning author Tom Palmer who held a Q&A session to discuss his book After the War. A novel that follows the journey of The Windermere Children, Tom shared how he hoped his book would show young people how much damage prejudice can cause, and how important it is to be welcoming to people who are different to us. Young people truly made the most of this discussion, asking insightful questions and learning more about the power of creative writing.

I got to work with an incredible group of young people. Each and every ambassador fully engaged with all of the learning opportunities that were presented to them. The atmosphere and energy surrounding the trip throughout was so positive and inclusive.

– Billy, Anne Frank Worker

Expanding their knowledge of this important part of our history, Ambassadors visited the Lake District Holocaust Project, where they met with curator Trevor Avery who manages the permanent exhibition From Auschwitz to Ambleside. Faced with the powerful personal testimonies of the young people who arrived in Windermere, our ambassadors learnt how the Holocaust survivors were able to find some healing and peace amongst the natural beauty of the Lake District and the welcome they received from the people here.

 The power of creative writing

Reflecting on the power of Anne’s diary, as well as the personal testimonies of The Windermere Children and Tom’s book, ambassadors then went on to further explore how creative writing can be used as a tool to challenge prejudice.  

Joined by poet Katie Hale, they visited the Wordsworth Trust for a final workshop which focused on how people fit into landscape. After analysing some example poems, ambassadors composed and bravely shared their own work based on places that were special to their experiences. The day ended with a tour of the Wordsworth Trust, allowing young people to walk in the footsteps of William and Dorothy Wordsworth and get creative themselves with interactive exhibits and challenges.

As well as all the amazing thinking and creative work, ambassadors also built new friendships and explored the beauty of the Lake District with lots of games, a boat trip and plenty of ice cream!

We were so proud of all the Ambassadors - the passion they share and the way in which they contributed and communicated during all activities, developing great relationships along the way, was a real credit to them all – Grace, Assistant Director for Schools and Communities

The journey doesn’t end there though. Ambassadors were tasked with a final challenge; to produce a piece of creative writing, inspired by nature, that challenges prejudice. With the amazing work and incredible insights we saw from young people during the residential trip, we cannot wait to see what they produce as we help support them to spread their anti-prejudice message across their schools and communities.

With these Ambassadors as the future, I think we are in very safe hands - Grace, Assistant Director for Schools and Communities