Mother of son lost to knife crime honoured by the Queen

Yvonne Lawson at Windsor Castle after receiving her MBE

Yvonne Lawson at Windsor Castle after receiving her MBE - Credit: Courtesy of Yvonne Lawson

A mother whose son was killed in a knife attack in Stamford Hill has been honoured by the Queen for her work fighting against knife crime.

Yvonne Lawson received her MBE at Windsor Castle yesterday (November 30).

She set up the Godwin Lawson Foundation almost 10 years ago in memory of her son Godwin, who was a 17-year-old budding athlete when he lost his life.

Godwin was attending a football academy at the time of his death, which was the tragic consequence of the teenager trying to stop a knife attack on his friend.

Over the decade since, Yvonne has set up school and community centre projects across London in a bid to stop young people getting embroiled in knife crime and suffering the same fate as her son.

She dedicated the award to her son whose "contagious smile" kept her going. 

Yvonne added: "It is also dedicated to all those who gave me a shoulder to cry on, those that wiped my tears when I didn’t have a tissue [and] those that made me tons of cups of tea to keep me warm.

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"To those that hugged and showed me love, held my hand and helped me to walk again, not forgetting the pots of Jollof rice to feed the family."

In a poignant tribute, the MBE said she shares the accolade with "those that held my hand and prayed for my family".

Knife crime continues to be a killer in the capital, with 29 lives lost in 2020 alone.

Yvonne, once a primary school teacher for 16 years, was also instrumental in getting the government to introduce a two strikes law which meant anyone caught carrying a knife for the second time would receive a mandatory sentence. 

Yvonne and her husband Calvin Lawson after receiving her MBE at Windsor Castle

Yvonne with her husband Calvin Lawson after receiving her MBE at Windsor Castle - Credit: Courtesy of Yvonne Lawson

Recently Yvonne worked with the Met Police and Crimestoppers to launch a campaign called Hard Calls Save Lives.

The initiative encourages anyone who has information about knife crime to report it anonymously to prevent youth violence.  

Yvonne added: "I want to see a violence free community where each young life is valued, nurtured and protected.

"Young people have so much to offer and we want them to thrive and contribute positively rather than have their lives and potential stolen”.

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