Damilola Taylor Trust
1799. Richard Taylor
Richard Taylor OBE, from London, founded the 'Damilola Taylor Trust' in memory of his son, who was killed aged 10 in 2000 in a senseless act of violence, to support young people who are susceptible to gang and knife crime.
Following Damilola’s death, Richard wanted to create a positive legacy of hope and opportunity for disadvantaged and underprivileged young people. He set up the trust in May 2001 to run activities and projects designed to support those who are at risk of becoming involved in violence or being expelled from school, particularly vulnerable young people living in inner-city south London. The trust helps coach young people to recognise and realise their potential, focusing on young people’s personal and social development needs. Following the 20th anniversary of Damilola’s death, Richard and partners from across the sector have come together to form the ‘Hope Collective’, a youth-led movement driven by a shared purpose to establish real change that enables UK’s most vulnerable communities to be free from poverty, violence and discrimination.
Richard was presented with his award by Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a Hope Collective Reception held at No10 Downing Street, where he were also joined by his daughter Florence (centre), former footballer Rio Ferdinand (left) and Olivia Koimur (right) of the Hope Collective (Photo credit Andrew Parsons/ N010 Downing Street).
In a personal letter to Richard, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I am lost in admiration for all that you have done since losing your son, Damilola, many years ago. In the face of the unspeakable tragedy, you have rejected the hatred that marked Damilola’s murder, instead creating a legacy of hope and opportunity.
“Alongside your late wife, Gloria, you have devoted yourself to helping young people, deterring them from knife crime and showing them that there is an alternative to violence. I am humbled by the depth of your determination and strength.”