In the early hours of March 27, 2010, Enfield-born Godwin, who was a budding footballer on the books of Oxford United, was fatally stabbed as he tried to help friends during a street attack in Stamford Hill.
Following his death, Godwin’s mother, Yvonne, established the Godwin Lawson Foundation.
With the aim of using sport, and in particular football, as a vehicle to educate young people on the choices associated with street violence, the Godwin Lawson Foundation partnered with Tottenham Hotspur Foundation to create an annual football tournament in Godwin’s memory.
The annual event has previously been a mixed football tournament for local young people but the decision was taken to make it accessible to girls only this year in order to highlight the increase of females being exploited via gang culture.
With the aim of raising awareness about the consequences of gang violence, gun and knife crime, the tournament is used as a platform for football clubs to help tackle knife crime in London by partnering with victims’ families to train ‘Peace Ambassadors’, encouraging children and young people to sign a pledge against carrying a weapon.
The event is funded through players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, who support an extensive number of the Foundation’s community development projects. The funding awarded from People’s Postcode Lottery enables the Foundation to use the unique appeal of the Club to deliver creative, innovative and engaging programmes that improve social cohesion, build self-esteem and develop positive attitudes amongst young people.
Yvonne Lawson said: “Our annual tournament has always been a positive event where young people can come together to have fun, learn about the dangers of gang-related crime and build friendships. This year, we decided to do a girls-only tournament to raise awareness of the increased numbers of females who are at risk of becoming exploited by gang crime.”
Stephanie Kerr, Trusts Manager at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “The work carried out by both Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and the Godwin Lawson Foundation is truly inspirational. Both organisations have such an apparent connection and passion for the young people they are working with. I am delighted that players of People’s Postcode Lottery are able to support the event and ensure the education of young people about the dangers of knife crime and gangs.”
Grant Cornwell MBE, CEO of Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, said: “A huge thanks goes out to players of People’s Postcode Lottery for the funding which has supported so many of our community development projects, including the fourth annual Godwin Lawson Memorial Tournament.
“Through events like this we are able to educate young people about the dangers involved in gang and knife crime, steering them away from negative situations and encouraging them to make positive choices about their futures.
“Working together with local organisations and charities like the Godwin Lawson Foundation, we are able to make a stand against the serious issues affecting young people in our communities.”