You've probably heard us talk about The Sophie Lancaster Foundation as one of the charities benefitting from our convention. But how much do you really know?
In 2007, 20-year Sophie Lancaster was walking home with her boyfriend, Robert Maltby, through Stubbylee Park in Lancashire, UK. The couple had been returning home when there were attacked by a gang of mid-teens shouting epithets at the Goth-culture couple, who were repeatedly beaten and kicked in the head. After lapsing into a coma, Sophie was taken off life-support 13 days later by her family. Subsequently, five people were tried and convicted for the vicious attack.
Chosen by our Guest of Honor, Juliet Landau, The Sophie Lancaster Foundation was founded in 2010 by Sophie’s mother, Sylvia, with the goal of creating respect and understanding of subcultures in the community, and works with government and law enforcement to ensure safety for people in those groups.
Hearing Sophie’s story and the work of the foundation affected Landau deeply.
“I was horrified by what happened to Sophie Lancaster and Rob Maltby, and it seemed unfathomable to me that people can be this evil, hateful, ugly and violent,” she explains. “I was moved beyond words by Sophie’s spirit and loving nature. She protected her boyfriend during the attack.
“Sophie’s mum, Sylvia is an inspiration. She founded this organization as a legacy to her daughter, with the aim of providing education about prejudice and intolerance by going into schools, youth groups and prisons. People’s creativity and individuality is a thing to celebrate and nurture not to destroy,” Landau added.
For more information about the work of the Foundation, please visit www. SophieLancasterFoundation.com