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We look forward to working with top UK corporations to extend the scope and scale of our youth development programmes

27th November 2017 marks 17 years since the loss of ten-year-old Damilola Taylor.

On 24th November 2017 the Damilola Taylor Trust, the charity set up as a memorial to Damilola will be staging the second “Damilola Taylor Memorial Lectures.” The event is sponsored by Vodafone and hosted for the second consecutive year by global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright. Speakers include the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Cressida Dick, CBE, QPM.

The Damilola Taylor Memorial Lecture is an advocacy activity designed to keep the issue of knife crime and its destructive impact on the life chances of youth in inner cities high on the public agenda. With the theme, “Creating Alternative Pathways for the Youth” this year’s lecture will provide a platform for the charity to share details of the programmes it is implementing to support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds upgrade their employability skills, and connect them to training and jobs.

Knife crime is on the rise across the country. In 2016, London (excluding the City) accounted for approximately three in ten recorded knife offences nationally. In the 12 months prior to March 2017, over 12,000 knife crime offences were recorded in London. In 2016, knife crime across England and Wales rose by 14 percent, compared to 11 percent in London. The majority of knife crimes in London are related to street violence and robbery. Young Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) males are frequently the victims of non-domestic abuse related to fatal knife crime, with almost half of all victims of non-domestic knife homicide being black males aged 15 to 24.

The Trust believes there is a strong need for better policies to protect young people. They call upon policymakers, the law, youth service practitioners, and corporate organisations to support and ultimately help rectify the social problem of violent youth crime, as well as addressing the underachievement of disadvantaged youths in inner-city communities.

This event aims to appeal for the increased involvement of UK corporate businesses and other charities to invest in programmes by offering work placements, internships and mentoring. The Trust hopes this will support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds so they can improve their employability skills, connect to training and jobs and lead to further economic opportunities required for productive participation and integration into society.

Mr Richard Taylor OBE commented:
“I am pleased that Vodafone is sponsoring this year’s event. We look forward to working with top UK corporations to extend the scope and scale of our youth development programmes and support socially disadvantaged young people in our communities. I would like to thank Norton Rose Fulbright for hosting the second memorial lecture and its continued support. The years don't dull the pain and on this 17th anniversary year, it's especially hard. I hope this memorial lecture can be a success in bringing people and organisations together and that by the 20th anniversary in 2020 we are able to achieve the dream of Our Loved Boy Dami and make the world a safer place"

Jon Shaw, Head of London Region at Vodafone UK, said: “The story of Damilola Taylor still resonates today, 17 years after his loss. In London, youth violence is still a major issue, which is why it’s so important to shine a light and create dialogue in local communities to address this ongoing problem. Vodafone is in a fortunate position to be able to support the Damilola Taylor Trust and its work – this is a cause close to my heart, and I’m keen that we work together to help tackle the problem.”

Stephen Parish, global chair of Norton Rose Fulbright, said: “We are proud to support the Damilola Taylor Trust and the inspiring work they do to maintain and promote Damilola’s legacy through education and raising awareness about critical social issues amongst young people. It is important to keep knife crime high on everyone’s agenda. Increasing young people’s employability and providing them with opportunities is an integral part of creating alternative futures for them and I hope these memorial lectures can inspire some much-needed change.”

The event will take place at the offices of global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright, London. More information can be found at www.damilolataylortrust.co.uk


The Damilola Taylor Trust was established in 2001 to provide inner-city youths with opportunities to play, learn and live their lives free of fear and violence. It has launched projects to keep young people off the streets and provide them with improved life chances.

Please contact Brenda Gabriel by email at brenda@brendagabriel.co.uk or by phone on 07534 360 854 for further enquiries.

Norton Rose Fulbright is a global law firm providing the world’s pre-eminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service. The firm has more than 4,000 lawyers and other legal staff based in Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Afri-ca, the Middle East and Central Asia.
Recognized for its industry focus, Norton Rose Fulbright is strong across all the key industry sectors: financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology and innovation; and life sciences and healthcare. Through its global risk advisory group, the firm leverages its industry experience with its knowledge of legal, regulatory, compliance and governance issues to provide clients with practical solutions to the legal and regulatory risks facing their businesses.

Norton Rose Fulbright operates in accordance with its global business principles of quality, unity and integrity, aiming to provide the highest possible standard of legal service in each of its offices and to maintain that level of quality at every point of contact.

Norton Rose Fulbright Verein, a Swiss verein, helps coordinate the activities of Norton Rose Fulbright members but does not itself provide legal services to clients. Norton Rose Fulbright has offices in more than 50 cities worldwide, including London, Houston, New York, Toronto, Mexico City, Hong Kong, Sydney and Johannesburg. For more information, see nortonrosefulbright.com

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