Thank you very much for the invitation to say a few words today at this important event.
The Marcus Lipton Community Centre is deeply important to the borough of Lambeth and to the community it serves.
This place is special.
It is a place that means so much to the community – and rightly so, because it supports and nurtures the young people who are the future of Lambeth.
There is huge potential in the community here – and the centre has played a pivotal role in helping younger people meet that potential and become successful.
It is a place that focuses on the good in people.
But is a place of remembrance too.
We remember and celebrate the life of Glendon Spence.
Glendon was a young man with a bright future ahead of him.
He hoped to be a mechanic – and was working towards that goal.
He wanted to make a difference and his family were deeply proud of his achievements.
That pride lives on and will always do so.
We remember too the lives of Jerrell Elie and Dwayne Simpson.
Jerrell was passionate about sport and wanted a career helping others, aspiring to be a physiotherapist. He was a young man with a positive future and a good heart, who meant so much to those who loved him.
Dwayne was a young man whose light shone bright and whose passing was grieved by so many, including those of us gathered here today.
Young lives, so much potential, loved by family and friends.
Glendon, Jerrell and Dwayne are deeply mourned.
As Mayor of Lambeth, I feel great sadness at their passing.
But I also feel hope.
Hope – that despite the sadness and the tragedies, this community remains strong.
Strong in our conviction that violence will never win.
Strong in our belief that this community remains cohesive and united.
Strong in our resolve to make sure that the Marcus Lipton Centre remains at the very heart of this community.
I am deeply proud to be here today, remembering and celebrating the lives of Glendon, Jerrell and Dwayne.
In doing so, we celebrate the lives of all those lost or damaged because of needless violence.
We will never give in and we will never give up in our work to end this scourge on our community.
I am also deeply proud of the work that has happened and will continue to happen at this centre and in this community.
Everyone here today is proud. And rightly so.
We have suffered much. We have great sadness in our hearts.
But we have hope and strength.
Today’s event is a beacon of that hope. We remain united and we stand by our purpose.
I wish everyone here today well and I thank every single person involved in working at the Marcus Lipton centre and who has organised today’s important event, or is performing or attending today.
May we remember with pride and go forward with hope.