Hampton School is delighted to announce that a much-admired member of our History Department Mr Andy Lawrence has been awarded an MBE in the Platinum Jubilee Honours List for services to Holocaust and Genocide Education. For over 15 years, Mr Lawrence has encouraged generations of Hamptonians to take up the mantle to raise awareness of the Holocaust and other genocides. Headmaster, Mr Kevin Knibbs, led the congratulations to Mr Lawrence on his award from Her Majesty the Queen:

It’s hard to think of anyone more deserving of such recognition and the School community is thrilled for Andy. He is passionately committed to tackling identity-based violence and discrimination, and has worked tirelessly to improve genocide and Holocaust awareness among young people in the UK and internationally. Many Hamptonians have become dedicated members of the pupil action group Genocide80Twenty that Andy established here 15 years ago – long may their pioneering work continue to flourish and inspire!

Many of the pupils who have been part of the action group Genocide80Twenty have been sending messages of warm congratulations to their former teacher. Fergus McWilliams OH (2019) commented:

Mr Lawrence inspired us all to focus on what really matters in life – giving a voice to the marginalised. In a characteristically selfless manner, he allowed the boys to take the bulk of the plaudits yet, while he would be too modest to say so, there is no one who is more deserving of this honour.

Former School Captain and active Genocide8020 member Paul Wilkinson OH (2020) added:

Mr Lawrence, I know you are not one who enjoys the spotlight, but it is fantastic that you have been rewarded for your work with the group. What you have done is amazing, encouraging Hamptonians to educate themselves and then others of key world events. Thank you for all of your work and, well done!

Upper Sixth Former, Nayaaz Hashim, thanked Mr Lawrence on behalf of this year’s campaigners:

 Mr Lawrence has guided us through a wide range of projects, from school assemblies to multi-platform digital campaigns which reached thousands of people around the world. He is led at every stage by a genuine desire for change, and by the utmost respect for the victims and survivors of genocides. These projects will always stand out to me as a defining aspect of my time at Hampton. I am sure I speak for everyone in the group when I say that Mr Lawrence has helped empower each of us to use our voices and actions to make a difference, in the way that only the very best teachers and mentors can. 

Mr Lawrence has spearheaded Holocaust education and learning at Hampton, running Holocaust Memorial Day events for pupils and the local community, and overseeing collaborative awareness-raising projects with schools and pupils across the UK. The School was awarded a Quality Mark and Beacon Status by the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education earlier this year and Director of the Centre for Holocaust Education, Dr Andy Pearce, commented on Andy’s award:

We are absolutely delighted to hear of the wonderful news that Andy Lawrence has been awarded an MBE. Thanks to his dedication and commitment, thousands of young people now know and understand more about genocide than they ever would have done. That is an invaluable achievement and this award is richly deserved.

And, Olivia Marks-Woldman OBE, Chief Executive at Holocaust Memorial Day Trust added:

Andy is a great example of dedication and diligence in Holocaust and genocide education. He has inspired so many young people through his work at Hampton School and brought so many more schools into their work – and just as importantly, has inspired their parents and colleagues far beyond. I’m thrilled that he has received this very special honour from Her Majesty The Queen.

Andy Lawrence has always believed passionately in the importance of survivor testimonies; inviting those who lived through the Holocaust and other genocides to share their stories with the next generation. Among those whom he has invited to speak to young people at Hampton is Eric Murangwa Eugene MBE, a Rwandan footballer who lost many family members and friends during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Andy’s outstanding commitment to spearheading a campaign to improve the knowledge of genocide in UK schools has stimulated British pupils and teachers alike. His exceptional dedication to improving the education of atrocity crime, genocide awareness, and prevention among students in the UK and internationally not only helps to enhance the understanding of ‘Never Again’ among the young but equally has become a source of inspiration for other teachers across Britain.

Thank you to all who have been in touch to offer such warm and heartfelt reaction to Mr Lawrence’s award. We give the final word to Andy Lawrence MBE himself, who says he has been overwhelmed to receive such recognition:

The honour is recognition of the fantastic efforts made by everyone involved in the genocide awareness work at Hampton. That very much includes all my wonderful colleagues, the brilliant boys who have been part of Genocide80Twenty over the years and the remarkable survivors who have helped us on so many occasions. It has been a privilege to have worked with so many talented, generous and committed people.

Congratulations from us all Mr Lawrence!

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