THE SOPHIE LANCASTER FOUNDATION

Aims

Following the horrific murder of Sophie Lancaster, her family wanted to ensure a lasting legacy to their beautiful, bright creative daughter and so The Sophie Lancaster Foundation was established. It became a registered charity in 2009

The Charity

(Registered Charity Number 1129689)

The aims and objectives of the Charity are as follows:

  • To create a lasting legacy to Sophie.
  • To provide educational group-works that will challenge the prejudice and intolerance towards people from alternative subcultures.
  • To campaign to have the UK Hate Crime legislation extended to include people from alternative subcultures or Lifestyle and Dress.

So far, to meet these aims and objectives we have promoted the Foundation nationally and internationally, ensuring Sophie is recognised in the media and elsewhere. This has involved Sylvia Lancaster being interviewed many times for TV, Newspapers and many magazines have included features on Sophie's death and the work of Sylvia in setting up the Foundation, this included a "Tonight With Trevor McDonald Special".

The partnership with Illamasqua and Propaganda has proved invaluable and The Foundation is proud to work with them. Their profile in the beauty and business world has carried the work of the Foundation into new areas and brought new supporters and collaborators to join us.

Their creation of  the animated film 'Dark Angel' to commemorate Sophie's 23rd birthday was inspirational. It is a profound, powerful animation that was premiered in Manchester city centre and on MTV.

Through Propaganda, the Foundation was introduced to Huthwaites, an international training company, who worked with Sylvia to develop educational group-works which incorporates the Dark Angel film and a game that challenges the perceptions of young people (and hopefully professionals) about people who are from alternative subcultures. The SOPHIE educational resource is now being used in schools and we offer a training course for educational and youth workers. Please see the "Education" page for more information and dates of training sessions.

We work with other charities and agencies including The Anne Frank UK Trust, who include Sophie's death in their touring exhibition and in January 2010, Sylvia was invited to light a candle in memory of Sophie at the Holocaust Memorial Commemoration Lunch at Park Lane Hilton. They correctly recognise that Sophie's death was a Hate Crime and represents the face of prejudice and intolerance in today's society.

The political and social campaign to highlight the issue of the prejudice and hatred faced by alternatives has a very high profile. In 2010 Sylvia became a member of the Cross Party Hate Crime Advisory Board to the UK Government and works closely with the people responsible for writing the Police Association's Manual.

Having met with the Justice Minister, Jack Straw, at The Ministry of Justice in May 2009 to discuss the need to update the legislation, The Foundation was pointed to examples of good practice in Local Government who were addressing the issue. Bolton council had extended their definition of hate crimes to include life style and dress code following Sophie's death. Sylvia is now working with various boards helping shape their policies and procedures.

This led to Greater Manchester Police (GMP) being the first Police Authority to record and monitor hate crimes and incidents against people from Alternative Subcultures in April 2013 - we now have 6 others that do so and we work to increase this number.

Courtney Love wears a SOPHIE wristband at her UK tour.

Courtney Love wears her wristband in support of SOPHIE.

Socially, the S.O.P.H.I.E campaign has been very well supported and we work closely with musicians of all genres.

The Bloodstock Festival 2009 renamed one of their stages The Sophie Lancaster Stage and Beholder released their single "Never Take Us Down" with all proceeds going to the Foundation. The song and video are played in every presentation that Sylvia delivers!

Many bands and in particular, Goldblade, The Damned, The King Blues, Delain and The Levellers have supported us by inviting us to speak from their stages during gigs and sell our wristbands from their stalls. Individual artists like Robin Ince at the Compendium of Reason with Professor Brian Cox support our work through generous donations. Others wear our S.O.P.H.I.E. wristband as a show of support, diverse acts ilke Gary Numan and The Saturdays alongside actors from Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

Bizarre magazine created a "Proud to be Different" page in their monthly magazine, dedicated to the work of the Foundation and they have supported our work from the onset.

We have built on this and now have a presence at the huge Download Festival as guest of Leicester Police and Live Nation. Whitby Goth Festival and Rebellion Punk Festival welcome us and we make the most of these incredible opportunities to meet the people who support us - the alternative people themselves.

We attended the Hole gig in London and met with Courtney Love who is a big supporter of the campaign. She proudly wore her S.O.P.H.I.E wristband when on Jonathan Ross, at The Brits and NME awards. All the photos from the gig show her wearing it. She was introduced to the campaign through Illamasqua.

Obviously funding is crucial to the Foundation and we are grateful to everyone who has played their part in raising money for us, be it by holding gigs, tea-parties or doing marathons, it all helps greatly!

Funding came from The Lancashire Criminal Justice Board when they awarded the Sophie Lancaster Foundation £30,000 in December 2009. This enabled the Foundation to employ a part time member of staff and role out the educational group-works as well as set up a small office. Since then we have been awarded Big Lottery Local Paper Funding as well as grants from Schuh, Lush, Lloyds TSB and Nat West.

To donate to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation please go to the SUPPORT page on this website for our bank details.

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You can contact us using the details below:

Office Number: 01706 216969

Address:

87 Deardengate
Haslingden
Rossendale
Lancashire
BB4 5SN

General Enquiries : Click here

Educational enquiries: Click here