Letters to Gillian:
I wish to compliment you on the astounding success of your hard and skillful work. It is the well-deserved pinnacle of your admirable perseverance. I wish you with my whole heart good health, true happiness and continued success.
Miep Gies, helper of the Frank family in hiding, writing in 2008 at age 99
I would like to thank Gillian for all her hard work and for being the one to have included Stephen’s story into the Anne Frank Education. It is because of her that children who visit the Anne Frank Exhibition also see and hear Stephen’s story.
Baroness Doreen Lawrence OBE
In her wisdom, Gillian, the realist, will not bow to the principles of reality, or, more accurately, of realpolitik. Not if they should stand between her and any one of her objectives, like founding the Anne Frank Trust UK in 1990 at her kitchen table, for instance. Or authoring a declaration against hate and ignorance, then boldly seeking--and obtaining--endorsements from the most powerful and influential people in the world.
Or conceiving, designing, and launching a comprehensive confidence-building educational program for schoolchildren in undeserved communities throughout the UK. The things that cannot be, she simply makes them so. The things that "just aren't done," she does them. Simply. Elegantly. Decidedly. She is the kind of realist who imagines the un-real-- almost like an idealist would-- then decides in an instant to make the ideal real... in the process setting another, higher limit of what truly is possible...for Gillian. For all of us, in fact.
Howell Malham Jr, Founder & Director, GreenHouse
Gillian has been a great source of support and advice over the course of my career. As a young Chief Executive being at the helm of a charity for the first time, it was incredibly valuable to be able to call upon the counsel of someone with such great and varied experience as Gillian, and her welcoming, listening style made it very easy to seek help from her. As my career has progressed, both writing books and working with other charities, I have continued to call upon Gillian for both her insight and her analysis, which are second to none. Gillian is not only a passionate advocate for positive change but she is also a wise counsellor and a great friend.
Joe Hayman, Director Hayman Consulting and former director of the PSHE Association
Over the past 14 years our relationship has flourished as a result of our shared belief in tackling all forms of prejudice and inequality and the desire to create a society in which difference and diversity are recognised, respected and celebrated through education. You have been an excellent advocate for eradicating intolerance and hatred towards others.
Chris Keates, General Secretary NASUWT, the UK's largest teaching union
I wanted to let you know how much this is appreciated. Your Panel colleagues and CPS staff have informed me that they found your knowledge and expertise during your time on the Panel extremely valuable.
Baljit Ubhey OBE, Chief Crown Prosecutor CPS London
Thank you for your magnificent work with the Anne Frank Trust. I convey my best wishes to you for the future in all you do as you leave the Trust after such devoted service.
Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon
Home Office Minister (Countering Extremism)
The Anne Frank Trust under the extraordinary leadership of Gillian Walnes has been one of the most pioneering organisations involved in Holocaust education in the UK in recent years. In having the vision to use Holocaust education in this way, and to make it something of relevance for communities right across the country, Gillian deserves enormous personal credit. It was my privilege and pleasure to work with her over many years, and I wish her all the best in her future endeavours.
Rt Hon Sir Eric Pickles
UK Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues, Foreign & Commonwealth Office
To you I send all my love and good wishes. You have done an outstanding job and I have valued your support in my own work.
Sir Andrew Burns
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Yours is a truly remarkable achievement & countless people owe you their gratitude.
Eva Clarke, Holocaust survivor
You have created a remarkable organisation which has generated so much good work for a cause that is as essential today as it was when you first set out. Your vision and hard work of using Anne’s story to be a beacon for greater tolerance has become a vivid reality through your tenacious efforts. You should be justly so proud.
Michael Hirst OBE
You have done a remarkable job. I am full of praise for you, you are an outstanding woman.
Sir Anthony Seldon, biographer of David Cameron
She is an inspiration and her vision has made the Trust as high profile as it now is!
Laura Stadler, journalist
My good wishes to Gillian and thank you for the amazing work you have undertaken.
Fiyaz Mughal OBE FCMI FRSA, Founder and Director - Faith Matters
Gillian has done wonders creating a stable, vibrant charity out of very little and are leaving a strong team to continue her development.
Dudley and Rose Leigh Milton Damerel Trust
I just wanted to say that you spoke to beautifully at dinner in Amsterdam the other night. It made me cry! Your knowledge and emotional connection to Anne’s story is amazing and we will certainly miss this!
Congratulations on your many accomplishments during your time with the Anne Frank Trust UK. Your method of engaging students is certainly very powerful. You are welcome to contact districts directly about your method.
Ann M Whitney, Florida Director of Educational Standards
You are a remarkable person and role model to so many. Your friends and colleagues at the Anne Frank Trust are delighted to honour you with an Anne Frank Lifetime Achievement Award for your incredible work over the last 25 years.
Elissa Stoddart, Anne Frank Ambassador
Gillian’s advice made a big difference to the development of the Journey to Justice program in its early days.
Carrie Supple, Founder and Director, Journey to Justice, American Civil Rights education program