Bedfordshire Police Youth Hate Crime Conference

On Thursday 11th February, a group of 10 Year GCSE Citizenship students represented Lea Manor at the first Youth Hate Crime Conference which was held at the Carnival Arts Centre in Luton.  Students from schools across Bedfordshire attended to learn about the facts surrounding hate crime, discuss some of the possible solutions and how we can all make a difference in promoting a tolerant society.

The keynote speaker was Sylvia Lancaster, whose daughter Sophie was viciously attacked as she tried to protect her boyfriend.  Later, she died from her injuries. Sophie was attacked because she looked different.  Sylvia’s address was disturbing, upsetting and inspiring as she told the audience about her experience and how it had motivated her to set up the Sophie Lancaster Foundation which raises money to educate and support young people with regard to hate crime and tolerance.  

The students then took part in a number of workshops where they learned about Hate Crime Youth Ambassadors, Hate Crime and the Law and How to Report Hate Crime. Our students were outstanding throughout the day and made valuable contributions in all workshops.  We will be asking them to continue to work with the school and become love and tolerance ambassadors.

Lea Manor created a banner to support the conference.  The banner, entitled 'Love and Tolerance' was a cross curricular project involving art and Philosophy and Ethics . 

'We decided to create a banner which captured a feeling of positivity, inclusion, kindness and understanding' 

Themes of racial tolerance and prejudice based on sexual orientation were represented through the wide range of colours used and the themes explored by relevant artists considered. (Keith Haring and Picasso.)

Lea Manor would like to build on the inspiration of the conference and the banner to explore these important issues further.  We are looking to hold a Love and Tolerance community day in the summer term as well as holding a week of events in school based on this theme.  Our artist in residence, Kirsten Jones, has also launched a website to document, inspire and bring together communities around the theme of love and tolerance.  The website can be found at

If you feel you would like to support us or contribute to our work around love and tolerance please contact Mr Adrian Gould via e-mail at and visit the Love and tolerance website at