Saturday, 11 August 2012

My heroes: Sylvia Lancaster

Five years ago today Sophie Lancaster and her boyfriend Robert Maltby were attacked on their way through the park in Bacup, Lancashire, for nothing more than being Goths. I remember hearing it on the news, and although I didn't know this couple, being incredibly upset. Sadly Sophie never recovered from her injuries and died nearly two weeks later.

In the aftermath of the tragedy Sophie's mother, Sylvia Lancaster and her family established the Sophie Lancaster Memorial Fund, which goes by the moniker S.O.P.H.I.E (Stamp Out Prejudice Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere). Sylvia has worked tirelessly to promote awareness of subcultures and differences in schools, prisons and all kinds of arenas.

This is why Sylvia Lancaster is one of my heroes. She has taken something so deeply tragic and horrific and turned it into a positive force for change. It is all too easy for someone who has suffered a loss this great to hide away, to become angry, but Sylvia hasn't and that is why I consider her one of my heroes.

RIP Sophie.

For more information on the Foundation, go to and a range of clothing and merchandise is available with all proceeds going to the Foundation. The Foundation is also on Twitter: @sophie_charity and on Facebook: 

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