A sixth form student at The Voyager Academy represented the Holocaust Educational Trust at a crucial meeting with the Department of Communities and Local Government on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day.
Charlotte Heard (18) delivered a speech at the meeting, held at the Home Office, which was attended by members of the Home Office responsible for providing funding to the Trust.
Charlotte is one of the many young ambassadors to the Trust, whose main aim is to devise imaginative ideas to educate young people from every background about the Holocaust and the important lessons to be learned from it today.
Charlotte said: “I was delighted to be invited to speak at the Home Office on behalf of the Trust. At first it was a little overwhelming, but it really was an incredible experience, especially meeting Susan Pollack, a survivor of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. She is an incredible and inspirational woman.
“This speech was especially crucial as the people I spoke to are responsible for funding the Holocaust Educational Trust and the important work they do. Members of both the Home Office and the Holocaust Educational Trust were also there too.”
Charlotte had been keen to develop her knowledge of the Holocaust due to a personal family connection. Her great grandmother lived in a concentration camp in the last year of the war. When Charlotte lost her great grandmother in 2015, she felt motivated to complete the Holocaust Educational Trust’s ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ programme and to visit Auschwitz herself.
On her return, Charlotte applied to become a regional ambassador for the Trust, and following her appointment to a position, she was invited to Yad Vashem - the world leading Centre of Holocaust Studies in Israel.
During her time in Israel she spent 10 days in lectures led by world renowned experts and professors in Holocaust education. In between the lectures, Charlotte toured Jerusalem and the Old City and also visited the British Embassy.
Following her trips, Charlotte has become an active representative for the Trust within the school and the local community.
Charlotte added: “I take my position as an ambassador very seriously and I really believe in the importance of ensuring the memory of the Holocaust lives on. Speaking at the Home Office was an amazing experience and made me even more determined to continue inspiring and educating people.”
Principal of the Voyager Academy, Scott Hudson, said: “Charlotte is an inspiration to us all. She manages to study for her A-levels alongside her passion and dedication for spreading the important messages of the Holocaust Educational Trust.
“I am also proud of the support and commitment that our teachers have provided Charlotte in her role as an ambassador for the Trust alongside her studies. We are working closely with her to establish a permanent memorial for the community in our Academy.”
Charlotte and fellow young ambassador from The Voyager Academy, James King, are also in the process of establishing a permanent memorial to ensure the memory of the holocaust lives on within the Academy.