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One Knowsley and Michael Causer Foundation to host first vigil for Michael in his home borough, marking 15 years since his murder

Anniversary will also see local landmarks lit up in rainbow colours, and the unveiling of a pavilion located in Court Hey Park, dedicated to Michael

Charitable organisations One Knowsley and the Michael Causer Foundation are to host this year’s vigil for Michael Causer, the first to be held in Michael’s home borough, and marking 15 years since his murder.

A trainee hairdresser from Whiston, Michael was just 18 when he was brutally murdered in July 2008.

This year’s vigil will be held at One Knowsley’s beautiful new headquarters in Court Hey Park, on Roby Road, Huyton, on Wednesday, August 2, from 5.30-6.30pm. Michael’s family and friends invite the public to join them in remembering Michael, and continuing his legacy as a symbol for hope, change and inclusion – and a stand against hate crime.

The anniversary will also be marked with the unveiling of a new pavilion located in the courtyard that will be dedicated to Michael. Landmarks across the borough, including the Greystone Bridge over the M62 and Archway Road railway bridge, will also be lit in rainbow colours on the same evening.

Racheal Jones, chief executive at One Knowsley, which now oversee the running of the Michael Causer Foundation, said:

“Michael’s legacy is coming home to start a new conversation about hate crime in Knowsley. In his name we want to mobilise a community response and affect a positive change regarding diversity and acceptance.

“It’s an honour to be able to welcome Michael’s parents, his friends and other family members, many of whom still live in the borough, as well as our partners and members of the public to Court Hey Park for this important and historic event.”

One Knowsley, the infrastructure body for the third sector in Knowsley, took over the running of the Michael Causer Foundation earlier this year. Set up by Michael’s parents, Marie and Mike, and Merseyside’s LGBTQIA+ community, the foundation’s aim is to provide education, motivation and accommodation for young LGBTQIA+ people.

Steve Macfarlane, outgoing chair of trustees, Michael Causer Foundation, said:

“This year’s vigil is particularly special – marking the 15th anniversary since Michael’s death, and the first time it will be held in his home borough. We will honour Michael’s memory and the memory of all victims of hate crime.

“Fifteen years on and the fight against hate crime continues. Now more than ever is it important that as a community we stand united in our mission to create a world where people can live free from fear, prejudice and violence.”

Cllr Graham Morgan, leader of Knowsley Council, said:

“It’s important we come together to remember Michael’s life and to unite against hate. Michael’s life was so tragically cut short but his lasting legacy is one of hope. Working with the Michael Causer Foundation and other partners we will continue to share the message that hate crime has no place in our borough.”

Ahead of the vigil, a family community event will take place in the courtyard the same day from 1-3pm. This precedes the Knowsley Feelgood Festival and Flower Show which comes to Court Hey Park the following weekend (August 5-6), with Michael’s favourite flower, the daisy, very much at the forefront.

The pavilion is a joint initiative between Swedish Wood and Swedish architects, and was conceived by Swedish architectural practice, In Praise of Shadows, in partnership with structural engineers, Ramboll. The decision to use Court Hey Park as its new home was reached as part of Swedish Wood’s developing relationship with the School of Architecture at University of Liverpool, who’ve been supporting Knowsley Council in developing ambitious regeneration proposals for Huyton Village Centre. Made from pine, the pavilion will provide a beautiful place for all to meet, reflect and enjoy the park in the shelter of its hexagonal roof, with original Swedish seating and lighting.

Now under the One Knowsley umbrella as an independent steering group, One Knowsley will utilise its strong connections in the borough and across the region to ensure the Michael Causer Foundation’s amazing work carried out since 2010 will continue. One Knowsley will work towards improving funding options for projects aligned to the goals of the foundation, as well as continuing to be a voice against hate crime.