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Friday, 12 July 2013

Anne Frank Exhibition visits HMP Warren Hill

Final Figures Triptych, HMP North Sea Camp, Bronze Award for Oil or Acrylic. Image courtesy of the Koestler Trust

It was a very welcome return to HMYOI Warren Hill in June 2013.

We had visited the Carlford Unit sometime before, and the exhibition was very well received by the young people there.

S.O. Carol Vaughan did a great job in organising this event, and was strongly supported by the Equality team, Mark Griggs and Valerie Miller.

The Anne Frank ‘A history for Today’ exhibition was situated in the spacious Visitors Centre within the prison, and we had a group of young offenders (ages 15-18)  who were trained to present the exhibition to their peers, as well as staff and visitors. They did a tremendous job. Initially they were unsure (naturally) of whether they would be able to do this, but they stuck with it and gave it their maximum commitment.
Our guest speaker Eva Clarke, unfortunately had to postpone her talk, due to her mother Anka’s sudden illness. Anka is a survivor of Mauthausen concentration camp and miraculously gave birth to Eva, just prior to American troops liberating the camp on May 5th 1945. Eva is set to re-schedule her talk in the coming weeks.

We also presented our ‘Free 2 Choose’ debate (this programme does not try to come up with cut-and- dry solutions to all the dilemmas it presents, but is a way to actively involve citizens in important social discussions)and were very impressed with the intelligence, and overall maturity of the participants. It was a very good exchange of ideas and opinions.

The Closing Ceremony for the exhibition on June 14th was attended by local dignitaries, Terese Coffey the Conservative MP for Suffolk, Deputy Mayor of Suffolk Geoff Holdcroft and Phanuel Mutumbari representing Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Race Equality. HMYOI Warren Hill Governor Bev Bevan also attended this special occasion, and presented the Exhibition Guides with Anne Frank books and certificates in recognition of their hard work. June 12th is the date of Anne Frank’s birthday, and it was especially poignant to commemorate her memory at this event.

Many thanks to everyone concerned, and best wishes to Carol Vaughan on her retirement.

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