Skip to main contentAccessibility Statement

West Northamptonshire to commemorate Stephen Lawrence Day

15 April 2024

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) will be marking Stephen Lawrence Day on Monday, 22 April to commemorate the life of the 18-year-old who was killed in an unprovoked racist attack 31 years ago.

Following a memorial service marking the 25th anniversary of his death in 2018, it was announced that there would be a national day to remember Stephen’s life with the aim to also focus on young people and the communities they live in, enabling them to make positive choices and live to their full potential.

A ceremony will take place at the Guildhall, Northampton, from midday to 1.30pm and will be attended by local organisations and community representatives including Northamptonshire Police, the University of Northampton (UON) and local Town and Parish Councils.

Speeches on the day will be provided by WNC’s Chairman Cllr John Shephard, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire Hassan Shah, WNC’s Diverse Forum Co-Chair Councillor James Hill, Local Policing Commander Superintendent Rachael Handford, and Co-Chair for the Global Ethnic Majority (GEM) Network Marcella Daye.

The ceremony will conclude with the lighting of candles and time for reflection followed by refreshments in the Guildhall court room.

“The anniversary of Stephen’s horrific death provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made in society thanks to his family’s steadfast pursuit of justice and tireless campaigning, whilst also acknowledging that there is still work to be done before we achieve true equality.

“In West Northamptonshire, we celebrate our diverse communities and I hope that people will join us in observing this day and reflecting upon Stephen’s legacy as we continue to pave the way for a greater understanding of discrimination, equality and cultural change in our communities.”
Councillor David Smith, WNC's Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services
"It’s been 31 years since Stephen’s tragic murder however the shock and injustice of his death remain as poignant as ever.

“He was only 18 when he was murdered and as the mother of a child of a similar age, his parents and family remain in my thoughts as the sense of loss is just unimaginable. They have always shown such strength and dignity in their fight for justice and equality.

“Commemorating Stephen Lawrence Day is really important as it serves as a powerful reminder of the enduring fight against racism and inequality in our society - a fight in which everyone has a part to play, including the police.

“Celebrating diversity within our communities is really important to us as it fosters understanding, tolerance, and unity – values which Stephen stood for and values we aim to echo when policing our towns in Northamptonshire.”
Superintendent Rachael Handford

Social media users can help spread awareness about Stephen Lawrence Day and make a pledge by using the hashtags: #stephenlawrencedaypledge #SLDay23 #StephenLawrenceDay #StephenLawrence #BecauseOfStephen #ALegacyOfChange #LiveYourBestLife. For more information please visit the Stephen Lawrence Day website.

Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?