The family of a British Holocaust survivor who died last month has initiated an annual arts challenge for Jewish participants on the JRoots heritage trip to Poland, offering an undisclosed cash prize to the winner. 

The competition for creative works that “can inspire social change” will continue the legacy of Solly Irving, who survived Buchenwald concentration camp and later educated tens of thousands of non-Jewish youngsters about the Holocaust.

Around 1,800 people journey to Poland with the charity every year, and organisers of the trips say the new Survivors Legacy Challenge – open to participants under the age of 30 – will continue the “Jewish inspiration” they get from the visit. 

The charity declined to reveal what the prize money would be, but said the winning entry would be “themed on a positive world, Jewish identity or Israel”.

The announcement follows a large memorial service at Hendon United Synagogue earlier this month, attended by 500 people, who Jonathan Marshall from Plymouth Centre for Faiths and Cultural Diversity pay homage to Solly’s interfaith work with 20,000 of the city’s youngsters.

JRoots director Rabbi Naftali Schiff said: “We believe the powerful lessons learned from Holocaust survivors like Solly can reconstruct our people’s darkest hour into a fountain of inspiration and blessing for the good of humanity. We are honoured to be playing a role in this endeavour.”

Solly Irving pictured in 1945 [front row with black cap and shorts] shortly after his arrival to Windermere among 732 child survivors brought to the UK