Two students from Arsenal Football Club studying at City of Westminster College have shared their experience of visiting Auschwitz as the country gathered to mark Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27.
Lillybelle Welch (left) and Jennika Kelly (right), funded on the L3 Arsenal Sports Coaching programme at United Colleges Group’s BTEC course, told their peers about what they learned when they visited Auschwitz in Poland last year.
Sharing their experience at The Arsenal Hub, Jen spoke in detail about visiting both parts of the former concentration camp, Auschwitz and Birkenau.
She said: "The walls were filled with photos of people that lost their lives in the Holocaust. It really put into perspective how many victims there were, and how many families were affected.
“You can watch movies or read books on the Holocaust, but when you go to Auschwitz it hits home how serious it was."
Lilybelle spoke about the importance of educating others on what they had learnt, saying: “It made me appreciate everything I have. We met people there that still experience antisemitic abuse today.
“We knew it was important for us to come back and educate people on this."
Lilybelle and Jen both plan to hold more workshops on the subject, alongside Arsenal in the Community, adding: "The work done by Arsenal in the Community is really helpful, especially for our age group. We want to continue that.”
Both Jen and Lillybelle also spoke in front of local MPs at Islington Council's Holocaust Memorial Event on January 27, where they shared their thoughts on what can be done to further educate people about the Holocaust.
Stephen Davis, Principal of United Colleges Group, said: “Jennika and Lilybelle are a real credit to themselves, Arsenal Football Club and the college for helping to raise awareness of what happened at Auschwitz.
“As educators, UCG is immensely proud to see students educating their peers.”