About the trust:
I’d always believed that my son Stephen would leave his mark on life but I’d assumed that it would be in helping to change the urban landscape, not the criminal justice landscape. It wasn’t to be, but this Trust, formed in his memory, has been able to help to provide access and opportunity to any number of ‘Stephens’ who it is hoped will leave their own mark.
Since its formation in 1998 The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust has been committed to supporting young people from diverse, disadvantaged backgrounds, helping them to break the social and economic barriers that stood between them and a career in architecture and urban design, Stephen’s chosen career. We have to date been able to award nearly 100 bursaries and have seen our eighth “Stephen” qualify as an architect.
In 2008, with the help of public funding, we opened the magnificent Stephen Lawrence Centre in Deptford SE8 as a centre of excellence for architecture and design and the wider built environment. Whilst we are pleased with the achievements and the change that we have in some small measure been able to encourage within this profession, we want to do more, a lot more, helping to create a level playing field not just in architecture, but in the Law, Finance, the Media and other areas of life where disadvantaged young people find themselves confronted with seemingly insurmountable obstacles to entry.
With this is mind the Trust has resolved that the Stephen Lawrence Centre should not just be a centre for architecture and the built environment, but a place in which aspiring young people can be built up and readied to be change champions in their own right. And so the Stephen Lawrence 18:18 Access & Opportunity Fund was conceived to coincide with the 18th anniversary of Stephen’s death, Stephen, who was 18 when he died. Its goal is to have as much impact in the realm of social justice as the Lawrence case has had on the criminal justice system. It is a fund that will underwrite a range of new personal learning and development programmes jointly titled “Ready, Steady, Grow” and I very much hope that you will recognise the importance of these programmes and engage with the Fund in whatever way you can.
Doreen Lawrence OBE