Lawrence mother in charity pledge
The mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence has vowed to help a new generation of young people achieve the goals that her son did not have the chance to realise.
At an event to mark the 18th anniversary of the 18-year-old's death, Doreen Lawrence said that she hopes the charity which was set up in his memory continues to improve the prospects of aspiring architects and young people from deprived backgrounds.
Before he died, Mr Lawrence had hoped to one day become an architect.
"Stephen was denied his dream so we want to make sure other young people achieve theirs," said Ms Lawrence at the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust Centre in Lewisham, south east London. "Our aim for the next 18 years is to help as many young people as possible. The idea is to use the centre as a way to give them some sort of aim in life and use this as a way of achieving whatever it is that they want to achieve."
She went on: "I think we have done quite well in the last 12 years. We have got over 100 architectural students who we have supported, we have got four who have qualified as architects in this country and four who have qualified in the Caribbean.
"When I was trying to think of what I was most proud of, I thought of this building. To have something as a legacy for Stephen and to have so many young people to come and use the centre is something to be very proud of.
"Hopefully he is looking down and saying 'Well done mum'."
Managing director of the trust Paul Anderson-Walsh said the balloons were released to symbolise "rising" and chances to improve social mobility. He said: "The Lawrence family wanted to see whether it was possible that life can really spring from death. The 1818 Campaign is marking a poignant moment to honour Stephen and the family.
"We are also calling on people who want to help us. If you're interested in creating a community that really is socially mobile, come and help us."
Today marks the anniversary of the day Mr Lawrence was murdered in a racist attack in Eltham, south east London, in 1993. The black teenager was killed as he waited at a bus stop with a friend.