Liverpool Echo Editor writes about our HOPE 2016 Initiative

“At Alsop I saw highly-motivated, engaged teachers determined to produce children who can not just cope in society but significantly enhance it. And I saw bright, well-turned-out and respectful kids who were ready to do just that.”

“I saw a school not just IN a community, but a school LEADING a community. This community has its share of problems. At Alsop I saw only solutions.” –
Alastair Machray – Editor – Liverpool Echo


HOPE 2016 at Alsop High School in Liverpool was inspiring, It inspired me. And I'm a 40-year newsroom veteran who takes bit of impressing.

They asked me to talk about social action.

So I did. I talked about brave journalists who changed the world. I talked about the stories and pictures that ended wars and about editors far more courageous than me who improved society by standing up for what they believed in.

I chose difficult themes and wondered whether the pupils were ready for it.

Ready for it? They were there ahead of me.

That week they met and talked to Hillsborough campaigner Margaret Aspinall - a woman indomitably forged in Liverpool's worst tragedy.

They spoke to a Holocaust survivor - who lives every day with the memories of man's worst inhumanity to man.

And to a mum, Gee Walker, who lost the son she loved to the mindless violence of Liverpool's meanest streets.

All three, in common, arose from despair to take social action. To become a force for good.

At Alsop I saw highly-motivated, engaged teachers determined to produce children who cannot just cope in society but significantly enhance it. And I saw bright, well-turned-out and respectful kids who were ready to do just that.

I saw a school not just IN a community, but a school LEADING a community. This community has its share of problems. At Alsop I saw only solutions.

Let me repeat. At 55 and after a lifetime of seeing extraordinary things and meeting extraordinary people, Alsop - the school, the staff, the pupils - inspired me.

If ever an initiative deserves rewarding then it is surely Hope 2016.

Alastair Machray
Editor, Liverpool Echo
Editor-in-Chief, Trinity Mirror Merseyside, Cheshire and Wales