In light of the 8th anniversary of Sophie’s passing, we look at how the charity have progressed over the years
Hi Julian, can you tell us how you have seen the Sophie Lancaster Foundation grow from 2008 to now?
The charity has an incredible way of delivering it’s message, particularly around prejudice in a way people haven’t been hit with before. I have always said that, with the S.O.P.H.I.E. foundation not only has it done more for its primary audience of the sub cultures but in my eyes it has done a great deal for racism and gay rights than a lot of charities which focus on those very issues. Once you have engaged with SOPHIE and in particular the film we produced for it (below) you sit back and question what it means to you and quickly understand that any form of hatred or prejudice is wrong, including those kids who dress differently and might have piercings in their face.
Sylvia, my dear friend and Sophie’s mum has worked tirelessly to reinforce the message the charity stands for and the growth in awareness is phenomenal and has reached so many people in such a short space of time. Sylvia received an OBE earlier this year for the charity’s achievements, which was fantastic. The charity has moved from something, which was built on an incredible ambition at the outset to something now thoroughly established.
What message would you give to someone who is feeling vulnerable because of an intolerant society?
Screw them. You are unique, celebrate it and be who you want to be. Nothing is more beautiful. There are so many areas of society now that are not only tolerant but actively embrace those who refuse to conform to societies dictated look. One example of that which stands out for me is the Whitby goth weekend, which welcomes all the weird and wonderful with open arms.
How do you think we can all help to make a difference in stamping out prejudice, hatred and intolerance everywhere?
There is so much work to do here, the message that the SOPHIE foundation in conjunction with Illamasqua sends out is so important and one that needs to be listened to. If everyone was a little more respectful of other peoples looks, beliefs and lifestyle choices the work would be a much happier place, making small changes adds up to a big one. That is the important thing to remember.
Please show your support for The Sophie Lancaster Foundation buy donating or purchasing one of Sophie range of products (which proceeds go to the foundation).
We are also running a competition to WIN 5 Vinyls of the Bad Pollyanna ‘Invincible Girl’ single, which was written for Sophie. ENTER ANSWERS HERE. (T&Cs apply*)
*To enter you must answer the question and comment under the relevant post at instagram.com/juliankynaston. Five winners will be chosen at random after competition closes Wednesday 2nd September at 12:00 (GMT). No cash alternatives. One entry per person.