Big Ideas runs public engagement for the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation (UKHMF). Our flagship programme, called Foundation Stones is inspired by the Jewish custom of laying stones on graves and invites everyone to paint a stone to become part for our UK Holocaust Memorial. Every stone painted is a promise to remember the past and build a future free from hate. You can see the project in action here and visit the immersive Foundation Stones Map created with support from here.

To take the Memorial into classrooms in every nation and region of the UK, Big Ideas created the Big Stone Paint in support of Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January 2022. Natasha Kaplinsky hosted the workshop and UKHMF Co Chairs Lord Pickles and Ed Balls spoke directly to children in classrooms across the UK.  The workshop was held on Zoom and was attended by 58 schools from across the UK, live to over 150 classrooms and to 5000 young people. Many schools signed up multiple classes or broadcast the event in their halls.

Alderney,  Kingskerswell Devon, Rotherham, Grimsby, Glasgow, Clydebank, Belfast, Lisburn Northern Ireland, London, Manchester, Leeds, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland, York, Milton Keynes, Ramsgate, Sandwich, Sheffield, Coventry, Farnborough, Isle of Man, Westgate-on-Sea, Worcester, Hartlepool, Birmingham, Peterborough, Liverpool, Oldham, Hastings, Croydon, Bradford

“What a powerful feeling to think that so many of us were sitting painting together right across the country, all thinking about commemoration and the future.”

Natasha Kaplinsky

Young people in three schools shared local stories and perspectives so that participants could hear directly from other young people in schools at different ends of the UK.

“Sometimes coming from a town in the North, you can be underrepresented. By painting a stone, I felt like I was part of something special.” Ellie from English Martyrs Catholic school in Hartlepool talked about how she felt involved in creating the memorial in London. 

“They had only hours to gather their belongings and leave with no way of knowing for sure whether they would ever see the Islands again.” Evelyn and Isabella from Alderney on the Channel Islands explained how their community had been evacuated following the Nazi occupation. 

Chloe and Cara in Clydebank outside Glasgow focused on the incredible courage and sacrifice of Glasgow missionary Jane Haining: “Jane sacrificed her own life for the lives of others, showcasing exactly why we believe that remembering Jane Haining on Holocaust Memorial Day is so significant. We also would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to each and every single victim who suffered as a result of the kind heart.”