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 Campaign Pack which provides free materials for your HMD activity.
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 Information for Cinemas factsheet.
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.
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 produced a factsheet for Your faith/ interfaith organisation and Holocaust Memorial Day 2013.
The Council of Christians and Jews and Churches Together in Britain and Ireland create an annual resource pack for inter-faith services.
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 factsheet with Information for Libraries on how to get involved in 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.
Every year, local authorities across the UK hold events which mark Holocaust Memorial Day. To help your council mark HMD, we’ve provided a factsheet with Information 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.
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 Information for Police Services factsheet.
Prisons can become flashpoints of racism and prejudice. A number of prisons mark Holocaust Memorial Day as part of their efforts to foster good relations and promote respect for all. To help your prison mark HMD, we have resources including educational exercises, discussion points and case studies.
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 have created a Sport and Holocaust Memorial Day factsheet 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:
Ben Helfgott MBE, Olympic weightlifter and Holocaust survivor. Find out more about Ben’s story in our case study.
Gino Bartali, multiple Tour de France cyclist and rescuer of Jews during the Holocaust. Find out more about Gino’s story in our case study.
Adrien Niyonshuti, Olympic cyclist and Rwandan genocide survivor. Find out more about Adrien’s story in our short film, podcast, and by learning more about the organisation for which he is a goodwill ambassador, Team Rwanda
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 factsheet about Marking HMD in your workplace
If you are looking to mark HMD with your colleagues in an office or workspace, we have produced a factsheet about Marking HMD in your workplace
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 you invite them. 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 that we can supply you with free handout materials to give away to your audience and you can order these in quantities of 50.