Your audience

As you begin your planning it makes sense to consider your audience, and potential audience, carefully.  

Who is your audience?

Who you invite to your activity will influence the appropriate tone, content, venue and duration of your activity. For example, if you want to engage the general public, your local shopping centre or park could be the perfect venue.  However, it will be cold in January, so you do not want an outdoors event to last too long.  
If you are working or organising an activity within a certain environment, we may have guidelines to assist you. We produce tailored advice about how to commemorate HMD for the following groups:
If you can’t find what you are looking for, members of the HMDT team are always available to discuss how best to develop and deliver a meaningful commemoration for your audience contact us.

Please also let us know about your HMD activity and help us build the national message of HMD. You can also sign up to our newsletter and order or download your free Activity Pack which provides free materials for your HMD activity.

Arts: Memory Makers

Memory Makers is our arts project for Holocaust Memorial Day 2015. The project pairs Holocaust and genocide survivors with nine British artists, who will respond to their stories with works of art for Holocaust Memorial Day 2015. Memory Makers ensures that survivors’ experiences are not lost to history, and that a new generation can engage with the stories of genocide. 

We are asking you to share these powerful stories of survivors and contribute your own creative responses to Keep the memory alive for Holocaust Memorial Day 2015. 

We have produced an activity sheet to help you get started. You can download it here.  If you have any enquiries about the your response project please email


HMD offers an opportunity for cinemas and film clubs to reach new audiences with rewarding films that challenge discrimination and prejudice. To help your cinema mark HMD we have a number of programming ideas and advice in our Get involved guide for cinemas.

Colleges and universities

Colleges and universities are ideal places to spread the message of HMD, whether you are a student or a member of staff. We have produced a Get involved guide for colleges and universities to help you put together a programme.


We have resources for educators, including assemblies and learning activities for all ages, subjects and stages, including specific resources for students with special educational needs.

Emergency services

HMD offers an opportunity for police forces to highlight anti-hate crime work and their role in the community. To help your police force mark HMD we have a number of ideas and free resources in our Get involved guide for emergency services.

Faith and Interfaith

HMD activities can provide an opportunity for faith and interfaith organisations to commemorate and celebrate how those who hold differing beliefs can work together in neighbourhoods and wider society. We have produced a Get involved guides for faith/interfaith groups.
The Council of Christians and Jews and Churches Together in Britain and Ireland jointly created a resource pack of liturgical and homiletic material for Christians to use in the service for HMD 2018, based on the theme The power of words.


As important hubs of their community, libraries can play a key role in bringing their neighbourhoods together to create a safer, better future. We have a Get involved guide for libraries on how to mark HMD.
Are you a school librarian? We have book group activities specifically for young people and there are more relevant book resources for young people in the relevant section of our full bibliography.


In partnership with Diversity Role Models we have produced an LGBT guide exploring the themes of HMD. This useful resource explores the Nazi Persecution of LGBT people and offers contemporary perspectives on discrimination.

Local authorities

Every year, local authorities across the UK hold events for Holocaust Memorial Day. To help your council mark HMD, we’ve produced a Get involved guide for local authorities interested in organising activities.
We’re aware of the continued need for local authorities to reduce their expenditure, and it is for this reason that all of the advice and resources we provide are free of charge. There are many ways of organising a HMD event for little or no cost.

Museums and galleries

Museums and galleries are ideally placed to mark HMD. You can use your collections and expertise in learning and interpretation to engage your local communities with the messages of Holocaust Memorial Day. Explore our Get involved guide for museums and galleries.

National and Regional Resources

We have produced three tailored resources for those wishing to mark HMD in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Each guide features specific local experiences that you may wish to use when planning your HMD event. Please click on the links below for the relevent regional or national guide:


We have created resources outlining ways to commemorate HMD by coming together to participate in sport and physical activity. Sport provides a positive opportunity for people from all parts of the community to work together, support each other and establish friendships that go beyond the sport itself. On Holocaust Memorial Day why not remember the past and start creating a better future by participating in sport and physical activity together?  
There are several ways of incorporating sport into your activity and you can find out more by exploring the resources below.
Working with Sporting Equals we created a Sport and Holocaust Memorial Day factsheet for HMD 2014 which provides all the essential information you need to involve your neighbourhood in a valuable and inclusive sporting experience on or around 27 January. Discover inspirational sports stories which may be useful in your activity content.
Our sports activity posters feature:

Trade unions

Many trade unions commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day, remembering the millions affected by the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and subsequent genocides – including trade unionists who were targeted by the Nazis. HMD also offers an opportunity for trade unions to highlight their ongoing anti-fascist work.

To help trade union members mark HMD within the workplace, we have produced a Get involved guide for trade unions.


If you are looking to mark HMD with your colleagues in an office or workspace, we have produced a Get involved guide for workplaces.

What is your audience’s level of engagement?

Perhaps most of your audience may already know about HMD, or maybe the majority will be encountering it for the first time. In either case, it’s likely some members of your audience may be very knowledgeable about relevant history or have a family connection to the subjects you are discussing. In all cases, make sure you pitch the content of your activity at the right level. It also generally makes sense to explain what HMD is and what your activity in particular hopes to achieve from the outset. You can find more information about the history and purpose of HMD in the UK here.

What is the motivation of audience members?

Is your activity open to all, or is it a closed activity? If your audience hasn’t freely chosen to attend, it makes sense to include content that is as engaging as possible. You may want to include a range of different elements, such as speakers, video, and artistic performance. Elements of audience participation also help to promote the importance of HMD to participants. 

What audience-specific planning do you need do prior to the event?

If you have young people attending, you may want to ensure their schools prepare them for the stories they will see and hear. Work with your local schools to help them get as much out of your activity as they can. Perhaps you will be holding a collection, or will need guests to bring ID or invitations with them -make sure to tell them when they are invited. It will be cold in January, so if your activity is in an unheated venue or outside, tell your guests to wrap up warmly. Read our practical guidance for further information.
If your activity is particularly sombre in tone, or will include prayers, you may want to supply head coverings for your audience as a mark of respect.  Your local interfaith group or local SACRE (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education, run by your local authority) will be able to provide appropriate advice for working with faith communities. You can also see our faith specific advice.

Do you want to involve high profile guests?

Having high profile guests at your activity can assist you a great deal when securing publicity. Have you invited your local MP, councillors, and mayor or council chair? Or are there local celebrities or high profile individuals who have a connection to your area? We provide template invitations to assist you in contacting them. When inviting them, be clear with your expectation – do you want them to attend as a guest, or will you be asking them to speak as part of the content of your activity? If it’s the latter, you’ll want to give them clear guidelines about what’s required and consult with them on their content. 
Remember we can supply you with free 'About HMD' handout booklets to give away to your audience and you can order these in quantities of 50. 

Your next steps