Youth Group Organisers

Here you will find information for people who run, or are a member of, a youth group organising a Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) activity. There are many ways for your group to mark HMD. Below we have outlined some steps and resources to support you to do this.

Youth Group Organisers

Get To Know Our Theme and Resources

Each year, Holocaust Memorial Day Trust chooses a different theme, to help local HMD activity organisers create new and engaging activities to explore with their participants. The themes chosen are relevant to the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and genocides that have happened since. Use the theme to help you shape your activity or event.

Explore the theme

Click below to explore the wide range of free resources on our website. These include life stories, activity templates, creative activity ideas and more to help plan your event. When searching for resources you may find it helpful to filter to ‘youth resources’ to find resources suitable for your activity. 

Discover resources

Here are some recommended resources suitable for HMD activities with young people:

  • Use our film screening resources for films about the Holocaust and genocides that have happened since to host a film screening followed by a Q&A
  • Set up a book club to read and discuss books on the Holocaust and more recent genocides using this resource which provides information and suggested discussion points
  • Our creative resources, such as Make a Memorial Flames Display are particularly suitable for young people
  • Explore case studies of people affected by the Holocaust and genocides who took action to make a change, and plan your own social action, using our Take Action resource for guidance
  • Including one of our life stories in your activity, which are available in many formats including video, can be a powerful way of engaging young people

Structure your event around your group

Think about your group and what you want them to learn from the event; try to keep events engaging and creative. Follow our ‘Know, Feel, Do‘ structure and try to include activities which encourage the group to actively participate.

If the group meets regularly it is a good idea to start introducing the theme a few weeks before, to give maximum impact to your HMD activity or event. You could introduce the theme through a book club or a film screening and then have the group take part in a creative activity or set up their own commemoration using the information they have learnt. We encourage group leaders to adapt activities to their group and are always excited to hear new ideas.

We will be launching a youth photography competition for 2021, which is open to all young people with access to a smart phone or digital camera. Encourage your group to enter as a group or individually. You could even use the photos you take to create your own Holocaust Memorial Day exhibition.

Inspiration and support

Listening to a survivor of the Holocaust or a genocide share their testimony is a hugely powerful experience, and participants at HMD events are likely to have a profound reaction to hearing it. If you would like to try to arrange for a survivor speaker to attend you’re event, there is information about how to do this here.

The subject can be a complex and daunting subject for many educators and may cause distress if handled inappropriately. For more information on how to approach the topic please explore our Guidelines for Teachers. You may also find our teacher resource for tackling Holocaust denial and distortion in the classroom helpful – it is also suitable for youth settings outside of the classroom.

Be inspired by how other youth groups have marked the day:

  • In 2020, University of Essex held a week of HMD events, including a lantern making session, a talk on how football can help to challenge racism and a light procession
  • Youth Initiatives Downpatrick created a display in their youth centre to raise awareness about Holocaust Memorial Day and the genocides commemorated. Download our free poster pack to use for your activity here
  • Havering Youth Council watched the HMD 2018 online film and facilitated a discussion using a list of suggested questions from Holocaust Memorial Day Trust. Download the HMD film screening and discussion questions to mark HMD at your youth group meeting here

Let us know!

We want to hear about every activity, this helps us to know how many young people are participating in HMD each year. Make sure you tell us about your activity by adding it to our activity map or emailing [email protected].

Tag us on Twitter or Facebook to tell us about your activity!

Other ways to get involved

Each year we hold a project specifically for young people to get involved with. Find out how you can get involved and subscribe to our newsletter to be kept up to date.