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Shoah day trust has new head

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The chief executive of a national charity supporting vulnerable families is the new chair of trustees for Holocaust Memorial Day.

Cathy Ashley is CEO of the Family Rights Group and a former Lambeth councillor. She is also a founder member and vice-chair of the Parent Promoters' Foundation, which set up a non-selective comprehensive in Lambeth. Her family is involved in Edgware Reform Synagogue and some relatives died in Auschwitz.

She wants to help ensure that "the victims and survivors of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution, as well as subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and the ongoing atrocities in Darfur, are never forgotten".

Ms Ashley has started working with HMD staff and trustees on the 2011 commemoration, whose theme will be Untold Stories, "an opportunity for all to reflect on the experiences of those affected by the Holocaust and subsequent genocides".

She replaces Dr Stephen Smith, who vacated the role after being appointed executive director of the Shoah Foundation in America.

HMD is on January 27, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The national ceremony will be held at the Royal Horticultural Halls in central London.

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