Stamp out prejudice, hatred and intolerance everywhereOctober 15 2015
At the National Youth Education Event in Blackpool, we were privileged to have Sylvia Lancaster attend. Sylvia gave a very moving account of the story behind The Sophie Lancaster Foundation.
Before I go on let me just explain who Sylvia is……….
Sylvia Lancaster is Sophie’s Mum. She started up this Charity after her daughter Sophie was brutally attacked, whilst protecting her partner Rob in Stubbeylee Park in Bacup, Lancashire. Tragically 13 days after the attack and being admitted to hospital in a critical condition, Sophie died. The reason behind the attack was that Sophie and Rob dressed in their own unique way to express themselves.
The Sophie Lancaster Foundation focuses on creating respect and understanding of subcultures. The Foundation also works closely with the Police Forces and politicians to make sure members of different subcultures are protected by the law.
Sophie’s murder was treated as a Hate Crime by Judge Russell who sentenced the murders accordingly. Under the current UK Hate Crime Legislation, and as the motivation behind the murder was hateful, he was able to use his discretion to class it as a Hate Crime.
The charity works to have “Alternative Subcultures” or “Lifestyle and Dress Code” added to the reportable Hate Crime strands to ensure that it is not a discretionary option but equal to the existing strands which are:
There is a dedicated website for the Charity which ishttp://www.sophielancasterfoundation.com/
You can find lots of information and support on the site. I would also like to encourage you all to take a look at the very moving video on the site.
Sylvia’s presentation had a profound effect on those who were present and many were brought to tears and were shocked that this level of violence exists in this way and for these reasons. It was certainly one of the moments over the weekend and I know that many took away an immense respect for Sylvia and her team for the continuous fight and determination they have to stamp out this kind of hatred which was brought about through such a tragic and unnecessary loss of life.
We wish Sylvia and The Sophie Lancaster Foundation all the best for the future and the CWU Youth will continue to support them in any way we can.
STAMP, OUT, PREJUDICE, HATRED AND INTOLERANCE, EVERYWHERE.