My name is Mat Bickley Stephen was my younger cousin. We grew up together in South London and shared many of the same interests. We played together, ran together and had heated discussions about Star Wars plot lines.
Stephen Lawrence was a young black man with a promising future ahead of him in the field of architecture. He was a kind & gentle soul, fun to be around, and I miss him every day.
Just over 25 years ago, Stephens life was taken by a gang of racist thugs.
The fall out from Stephen's case and subsequent investigations into police corruption and institutional racism had a profound effect on British society. Changing the way our nation is policed as a result of the Macpherson report.
In the months proceeding, Stephen's death I worked alongside the family lawyer – Imran Kahn to set up the campaign for justice and chaired meetings with special interest groups, the Metropolitan Police, and the home office in an attempt to garner public support and stop injustice from prevailing.
In recent years I have worked with Stephen Lawrence Trust as a marketing consultant, Campaigner, and Ambassador, and helped put together the digital campaign for the first national Stephen Lawrence Day 2019.
In 2018, after decades of conscious silence on the effect Stephens murder had on my life. I consulted on and contributed to the BBC documentary – Stephen The Murder that changed a Nation.
An award-winning 3 part series created by Rogan Films and produced by the team behind both the AMY and SENNA documentaries.
The series was able to dissect the entire 25 year timeline of Stephens case and tell the complete story, Demonstrating the profound impact Stephens story has had on our society. And is now part of the BBC teach platform used by schools across the nation.
Stephen's story and the tireless campaigning of the Lawrence family have also helped to introduce new laws to challenge legislation such as double jeopardy.
In the decades since Stephen's death, the Stephen Lawrence Trust was set up to help young people achieve their dreams and aspirations. The Trust has helped hundreds of young people pursue college and careers in Architecture & Design.
Both Stephen and I grew up as keen runners, having grown up a few steps away from the starting line of the London Marathon in Greenwich. Stephen joined the Cambridge Harriers and competed alongside future team GB athletes. And I ran cross-country competitively throughout all of my teens.
Now several decades later, I am running again – this time for a cause. To raise funds & awareness for all the good work the Trust does with young people across the UK. And to pomote a message of Peace, Unity & Hope in these times of increased division and despair.