Make a cup of tea and settle down as this isn’t going to be a quick read! It seems a good time to reflect on our year at The Sophie Lancaster Foundation 🖤
After losing Sylvia in 2022 your outpouring of support and solidarity with our mission absolutely blew us away. We are in such a divided world, and sadly the need for tolerance and inclusion is more needed than ever. We may have different faiths or no faith, different politics, different looks, like different music or have different interests, but the one thing that unites all of our supporters is the fervent belief we have the right to be ourselves. To have the right to be ourselves also dictates the need to respect other people and their choices. There may be many conversations we need to have, but to get anywhere, we have to take the hatred out of those conversations.
We have had an incredible 2023. We launched the results of the alternative subculture hate crime survey last month. For the first time we have empirical data which shows the dreadful effects of hate crime on alternative people. This will have a huge impact on our work and direction in 2024. Our 2023 festival programme was the most successful in our history and we met more people and sold more merchandise than ever before. This keeps us going as a Foundation, so thank you for your support. We launched free educational packs online as we know how schools are struggling for resources and input on these issues, and our anti bullying and hate crime resources were brilliantly received. They were downloaded by 36 educational settings nationwide and have a potential reach of 18,000 students. Every young person who has their mind changed about people who are different to them, or has their empathy level increased, has the potential to make a difference to someone’s life. We launched the Profound Pound in April this year, where supporters can donate a pound to help us continue to make a difference and we managed to raise £3048. We know how hard it is for many of you right now and we are so grateful for your support.
The most important part of this post is to thank you. Thank you to the beautiful alternative community and to all of you who stand by our side. We could not achieve anything without you. Thank you for your collaboration, your festivals, your fundraisers, for sharing your stories, for your belief in us. Sylvia always said we have the best supporters in the world. We truly do. Thank you for making 2023 an unforgettable year and we look forward to what comes next.
Everything we do, starts and ends with Sophie. She will continue to inspire us and direct our work. Thank you to you all, for the part you play in ensuring her legacy. Together we are Sophie.
With love and thanks,
Alison, Dena, Elloise and Kyle x