Thanks to the immense generosity of Michael Joseph MBE and the support of the Department of Education, 80 of the Anne Frank Trust’s Ambassadors and Peer Educators from across the UK, gathered in Friends House in Manchester, for the Anne Frank Trusts Annual Youth Conference.  

To challenge the increasing levels of discrimination, young people from 14 schools attended workshops focusing on storytelling, as an empowering tool to tackle antisemitism and all forms of prejudice. 

Students attended workshops facilitated by the Anne Frank House Youth Network on the power of writing, from storyteller Phil Okowedy and from the Rap Artist Mr Bries.  

Anne Frank Trust peer educator Mohammed who attended the conference said, ‘It can’t work with one person, but when it’s a bigger community, a bigger family, we can work harder to...remove prejudice from our world’.  

The Youth Conference heard from the FED about their pioneering project ‘My Voice’ and from Marianne Philipps, a Holocaust Survivor who has recently celebrated her 100th birthday. Marianne was born in 1924 in Berlin, Germany and had a happy Jewish childhood. After Kristallnacht in November 1938, she left Berlin on the Kindertransport to England.  

Marianne’s address finished with some important words for the young people. She said, ‘If I have to leave you all with one message today, it would be to encourage you to think for yourself. Don’t rely on social media. Listen and learn from your parents, your grandparents and your teachers. You need that background knowledge and only after that can you really form your own opinion’.  

Leaders from the Jewish community including from The Board of Deputies of British Jews and The Manchester Jewish Representative Council visited the Youth Conference. Christian Wakeford MP and Cllr Richard Gold were also in attendance and Rabbi Warren Elf led a reflection. 

The Youth Conference concluded with the students creatively sharing stories of prejudice and discrimination, with an aim to inspire others to challenge this. The judging panel included Nicola Cobbold - Chair of the Anne Frank Trust UK, Marc Levy – Chief Executive of the Manchester Jewish Representative Council and Hifsa Haroon-Iqbal OBE DL – honoured for her services to Social Cohesion. The judges congratulated all students for their excellent messaging, delivery and creativity.  

A group of students in their presentation, finished with these powerful words, ‘We have to join together, as a community, to achieve our end goal of respect and unity.’