Next month, 22nd April 2019 will be the first national Stephen Lawrence Day and Nottinghamshire Police hoped that their involvement will help to inspire communities.
Commemorating the life of teenager Stephen Lawrence, who was killed in an unprovoked racist attack in London in 1993.
The day is intended to be an opportunity for children and young people to make their voices heard, be the change they want to see, and help create a society that treats everyone with fairness and respect.
As part of the day’s positive message, the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and the national Volunteer Police Cadets (VPC) have joined together to design and develop youth-led social action projects, to positively improve the lives of people living in their local communities, challenge negative perceptions and make a difference.
The training is supported by a booklet which anyone enthusiastic about starting their own project can use to help them identify a local issue they want to address and think through how to tackle it.
Ed Sherry OBE, national VPC Director said: ‘We are very proud to be involved in marking the first Stephen Lawrence Day.
“Our Cadets already run many different social action projects and volunteering. Working in partnership with the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust will not only help to build their skills and confidence, but will also increase the impact they are able to have locally.”
Chief Inspector Suk Verma of Nottinghamshire Police said: “The day will help to inspire children and young people and to help build strong communities.
“We all know how important community cohesion is and this day gives us a chance to bring a number of different groups together.
“Our current volunteer police cadet programme are doing some great work currently on a number of projects and schemes.
“We are hoping that all communities around the county, including those hard to reach groups, step forward and work with us to make a day a real occasion, but to also give that lasting legacy to ensure Stephen’s death will never be forgotten.
“The day aims to promote the force’s work with vulnerable people and how we can continue to work closely with community, to create that community feeling.
“The force is bringing in innovative ways to give youngsters the chance to work with us. Recently we have broken down barriers to allow everyone to apply to become a police cadet with Nottinghamshire Police. We have expanded our mini police and Cadet structure into the inner city areas, whereby trust and confidence towards the police remains a challenge.
“This move will allow the force to give early intervention advice and gives us a real outlet to reach those groups and means we can continue to work closely with them.”
The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust has also launched a small grant scheme for community organisations.
Focusing on the theme Live Our Best Life, the grants of up to £400 are to support local organisations to plan and organise activities for young people on and around the 22 April.
These activities within the community are complemented by work to engage schools in also celebrating the day, including a pack mailed to every school in England and a suite of resources designed to provide school-age children and young people with opportunities to learn about Stephen Lawrence’s life and legacy.
All resources to support the day as well as details of how to apply for a community grant can be downloaded from www.stephenlawrence.org.uk.