Yvonne Lawson, whose son was fatally stabbed in Hackney a decade ago, has received an MBE at Windsor Castle for her tireless efforts in the fight against knife crime.
Lawson said: “This award is dedicated to our handsome son, Godwin, whose contagious smile kept me going regardless of the difficulties.”
Seventeen-year-old Godwin Lawson was attacked and killed in Stamford Hill in March 2010. Godwin was walking home with two friends who were also stabbed but survived their injuries.
A former primary school teacher, Yvonne has devoted herself to halting knife-based violence since her son’s death.
In 2012, she set up the Godwin Lawson Foundation, a charity that supports young people through sports and education.
“When I set up the Foundation nearly 10 years ago, I wanted to ensure that my son’s death was not in vain,” she said.
“I want to see a violence-free community in which each young life is valued, nurtured, and protected.”
Yvonne has also played a key role in government lobbying. In 2015, she was vocal in encouraging the introduction of the ‘two-strikes’ rule which gives mandatory sentences to adults convicted of being in possession of a knife on more than one occasion.
Earlier this year, she teamed up with the Metropolitan Police and Crimestoppers for an anti-knife campaign called Hard Calls Save Lives. The campaign highlighted short films of five mothers reliving the calls they made to the emergency services in a bid to encourage others to report knife crime.
In addition to her son, Yvonne dedicated her MBE to “those who gave me a shoulder to cry on, those that wiped my tears when I didn’t have a tissue, those that made me tons of cups of tea to keep me warm, hugged and showed me love”.
She added: “Above all, those that held my hand and prayed for my family. I just want to say thank you, this is our award and your reward.”