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. Every year, working in partnership with Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, a football tournament takes place in memory of Godwin, using football as a vehicle to educate young people on the choices associated with street violence.
Teens representing clubs from across London took part in the tournament and had the chance to meet Ledley as he observed their skills on the pitch and offered words of advice.
Ledley said: “Speaking to the young players taking part in the Godwin Lawson Memorial Tournament, it was clear to see how sport has helped them turn their backs on the negative influences in their lives and I hope they continue along the positive pathways they’ve chosen.”
With the aim of raising awareness about the consequences of gun and knife crime, the tournament is used as a platform for football clubs to help tackle violence in London by partnering with victims’ families to train ‘Peace Ambassadors’, encouraging children and young people to sign a pledge against carrying a weapon.
Tottenham Hotspur Foundation has recruited six Peace Ambassadors to date, who act as positive role models among young people in the local community.
Lauren Black, aged 20, said: “I’ve been a participant on the Foundation’s Kicks programme since I was a teenager and have seen many of my friends or people I’ve grown up with end up in trouble because of gangs and crime. It’s something that I think many young people have to face at some point in their life but with more people like myself who can actively talk about the importance of steering clear of violence and doing something more positive with their time, I know we change the futures of many young people at risk.”
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.
Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation provides an invaluable service offering such a wide range of projects and we are delighted that players of People’s Postcode Lottery are supporting this fantastic charity.”
Grant Cornwell MBE, CEO of Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, said: “This is the fifth year we’ve hosted the Godwin Lawson Memorial Tournament and we’d like to say a special thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery who support this event each year and help us to create opportunities that change the lives of young people living in our local community.”