A PIONEERING education programme which helps school children across the district challenge hatred and intolerance has won top acclaim.

The Stand Up, Speak Out, Make a Difference (SUSOMAD) project was recognised in the first-ever Remembering Srebrenica Charity Awards.

Bradford Council's Alina Khan was named regional community champion for her work on the initiative, which has been running in the district's schools for seven years.

Judges said her efforts had helped inspire younger generations to make their voices heard and learn lessons from history.

This year alone, more than 100 pupils have become 'young ambassadors' to help raise awareness of the events in Srebrenica, where over 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were massacred.

As part of its work, SUSOMAD partnered with the Anne Frank Trust UK to produce an exhibition, which tours schools, about the Jewish girl's life and Holocaust.

And last year, to mark the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica atrocity, the council's diversity and cohesion service created a new exhibition about the events which has now become an integral part of the programme.

"We take both exhibitions into schools where our pupil ambassadors act as guides for other young people," said Alina.

"The exhibitions about these two moments in history are a powerful way of getting young people to think about what hate and intolerance can lead to.

"It is the most effective peer education programme we have because it is so student led. Young people are talking in their own words to other pupils about challenging intolerance.

"Schools have told us it has improved pupils' attendance and their confidence and has changed people's attitudes towards bullying."

Keighley West councillor Adrian Farley, a Remembering Srebrenica champion, said the recognition for the programme was "fantastic".

"A lot of work has been put in around cohesion and this award is a great tribute to that," he added.

"It's so important that we foster good community relations and challenge intolerance, especially considering what happened in Srebrenica."

Cllr Farley visited Bosnia in 2013 to see at first hand the effects of genocide.

And he was part of a delegation, including students from University Academy Keighley, which returned to the country the following year.

Also on that trip was fellow councillor Alex Ross-Shaw.

He said: "What happened in Srebrenica 21 years ago should never be forgotten.

"Bradford can be proud of the part it has played in honouring the memory of the victims and in promoting a strong message of hope and tolerance that such terrible events must never happen again."