Last year Volunteer Police Cadet (VPC) units in partnership with the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust joined community groups and schools across the UK, through a range of projects and events for the inaugural Stephen Lawrence Day.
For 2020, our plans and ideas rapidly had to change due to COVID19


Ed Sherry OBE, National VPC Director, said “This year our partnership with the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust was ready to reach out to VPC units and young people across the country, sharing a wide range of resources, ideas and plans for youth-led social action. But, with the current public health emergency and major impact across all communities, we had to radically re-think what we could do.”

#BecauseOfStephen

Although units were closed and unable to meet, innovative Leaders and inspirational cadets held virtual meetings online, developed social action project ideas to reach out in their communities and much more.

In Greater Manchester, Stockport VPC developed social action ideas including tree planting and a local park clear-up.
In the West Midlands, Wolverhampton VPC arranged a St David’s Day (pre-Covid) visit to a local care home where they entertained residents and gave out daffodils. 16-year-old Cadet Terrell from the unit also wrote a powerful poem about Stephen Lawrence, speaking on behalf of his unit.

In London, Metropolitan Police Service VPC units on several boroughs held virtual meetings, discussed social action ideas, impact of racist crime and how young people can be a positive force for change. Lambeth and Southwark cadets made a film and took part in a meeting with the Stephen Lawrence Trust. In south-east London, a poster competition was held with winning entries from cadets in Bromley, Sutton & Croydon. These boroughs with Tower Hamlets, Lewisham, Merton, Redbridge, Westminster, Hackney, Greenwich, Lewisham, Hounslow, Richmond, Kingston, Camden, Kensington & Chelsea and many others raised the profile of Stephen Lawrence Day through active social media engagement and imaginative ideas, pledge cards and positive energy.

 

#BecauseOfStephen

In Devon & Cornwall units St Austell, Torbay & Newton Abbot showed support by making pledges on social media for #BecauseOfStephen. Liskeard VPC made a film about Stephen Lawrence which has been viewed over 400 times.

Sonia Watson OBE, Chief Executive of Stephen Lawrence Trust, said “This year Stephen Lawrence Day focused on the small things we can call do to make a difference. We are proud to work with the Volunteer Police Cadets to deliver interactive online projects across the country to mark the day. Young people are at the heart of building a society that treats everyone with fairness and respect no matter what background they come from, so it is vital they feel empowered to use their voice to drive that change. It’s inspiring to see so many cadets getting involved in social action to make a real difference in their communities during these uncertain times by helping others through simple acts of kindness and spreading our positive message.”


For all the challenges and barriers faced, VPC teams in Forces across the UK once again stepped up to make a huge positive difference, both now and planning. Well done and thanks to all who made this happen!

Ed Sherry said “I am so proud of everyone in the VPC who has so positively commemorated Stephen Lawrence Day 2020. A big thanks to our amazing partners at the Trust, Sonia Watson, Chelsea Way and both our small teams who made this happen, Because of Stephen. We say “Challenge Accepted”