As part of the school’s personal, social, health, economic education and citizenship programme (PSHEEC), members of the Anthony Walker Foundation were welcomed into St Augustine of Canterbury RC High School to speak to students about racism and hate crime.
The foundation has been providing young people across the North West with education and information regarding racism and hate crime for over 10 years since the racially- motivated murder of Anthony Walker in 2005.
Using the words of Anthony’s mother, Gee, foundation worker Natalie and volunteer Nelson spoke of Anthony, a devout Christian who dreamed of a peaceful world, to year 9 students during an assembly.
A 30 minute film was then shown to demonstrate how racism can take many forms and its impact on those affected, assisting viewers to empathise how it feels to be discriminated. This led to a discussion on what each person can do to ensure they do not perpetuate stereotypes, prejudices and discrimination.
St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Councillor Andy Bowden, was in attendance and praised the students’ mature approach to such a sensitive topic.
Councillor Bowden said: “It was pleasing to see the students fully engaged during the assembly as they came to realisation that racism and hate crime has a devastating impact on a family and community.
“On hearing feedback from students, it’s evident that events like this are well worthwhile, with so many lessons learnt as a result.”
Ms Barton, PSHEEC Lead and Coordinator at St Augustine of Canterbury RC High School, added: “We were honoured and very privileged to welcome members of the foundation to our school and hope that in the near future we can invite them back to speak to more students.”
John Au, Partnerships and Projects Manager for the Anthony Walker Foundation, said: “The Anthony Walker Foundation is always pleased to respond to requests from schools asking for workshops to raise awareness among pupils and staff about the harm and impact caused by discrimination and racism.
“This learning we offer is core to our work and our aim to make communities safer. We hope the work with St Augustine RC High School helps achieve that.”