Young people lead Holocaust commemorations

Pupils from Cowley Language College, St. Augustine's and De La Salle School performed readings as part of St Helens Council's commemoration of Holocaust victims.

The Mayor of St Helens, Councillor Geoff Almond, welcomed guests to a special Holocaust memorial service at St Helens Town Hall - an event that also included musical performances from St Augustine's Catholic High School.

It was all part of the build-up to Holocaust Memorial Day (27 January), with young people across the borough playing a major part.

Year nine pupils from St. Cuthbert's staged a special exhibition in Central Library titled The Museum of Pavel. It included diary entries, artwork and creative crafts based on Pavel, a character from the best selling Holocaust tale The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas.

The library also displayed, The Last Goodbye, a travelling exhibition from the Jewish Museum in London, telling the story of the 10,000 unaccompanied child refugees admitted to Britain on the Kindertransport in the late 1930's.

Holocaust Memorial Day is marked worldwide every year on 27 January - the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in 1945.

It also commemorates the millions murdered in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

But, as St Helens Council's Cabinet Member for Environmental Protection and Safer Communities, Councillor Richard McCauley explained, the horrors of the past carry a warning for the future.

"Holocaust Memorial Day gives us an opportunity to learn from the past for a better future. No hate incident should be tolerated in a respectful society - and this includes name-calling and bullying of any kind."

Committing a crime against someone because of their race, religion, disability, gender orientation or sexual orientation is a hate crime. And while levels are relatively low in St Helens, many often go unreported. The St Helens Community Safety Partnership (CSP) is committed to raising awareness of hate crime, ensuring that victims are supported and offenders dealt with effectively.

"We can only take action if decent people are brave enough to report it," said Councillor McCauley, "and the St Helens Community Safety Partnership are fully behind the push to increase reporting, whether that's via Merseyside Police or the 24-hour Stop Hate UK helpline. We want to make sure that there is no place for hate in St Helens"

Hate crime can be reported to specialist investigation teams at Merseyside Police on 999 (emergency) or 101 (non-emergency).

Alternatively, Stop Hate UK is a charity that provides independent and confidential support to people affected by hate crime. It's funded by St Helens Council and fully supported by the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) to provide 24-hour support to victims of hate crime.

There are several way to contact Stop Hate UK:
· By phone - 0800 138 1625
· Online at
· By email  -
· By text - 07717 989025