Sam Cam praises work of UK Anne Frank charity

By Barry Toberman, July 10, 2014
Samantha Cameron with trust chair Daniel Mendoza, Gillian Walnes, Esther Olusanya and Elissa Stoddart

Samantha Cameron with trust chair Daniel Mendoza, Gillian Walnes, Esther Olusanya and Elissa Stoddart

In the week before Anne Frank Trust UK leaders present their submission to the Prime Minister's Holocaust Commission, the trust was praised as an "amazing charity" by Samantha Cameron at a 10 Downing Street reception.

Mrs Cameron told 120 trust supporters that she admired its efforts to encourage people to take a stand against prejudice in all its forms - adding that Anne Frank's story remained inspirational.

The event marked both the recent 85th anniversary of Anne Frank's birth and the upcoming 70th anniversary of the arrest of the Frank family.

Guests included senior staff from the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and young Anne Frank ambassadors who spread the message of tolerance in their schools and communities. Among the speakers was Joan Deslandes, head of ethnically diverse Kingsford Community School in Beckton, east London, who explained the immense impact Anne Frank's diary had made on pupils.

The trust's work was previously celebrated at Downing Street three years ago when Chancellor George Osborne spoke movingly about his visits to Anne Frank House, saying it always reduced him to tears.

Downing St reception is a 'great vindication'

Trust executive director Gillian Walnes said the Whitehall gatherings were "a great vindication of all the work our team is doing with 40,000 young people a year, giving them the confidence to combat prejudice. We have to keep moving forward." Its exhibitions were now being taken directly into schools.

Anne Frank House representative Jan Erik Dubbelman saw Tuesday's reception as "a moment in continual growth" for the UK trust.

"An event like this is only possible if you build a programme with sustained high quality.

"The trust is doing an amazing job in reaching people across all communities and it is great that they have support from the north of Scotland to the Isle of Wight."

Last updated: 5:39pm, July 10 2014