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ABOUT US

In Brixton, in 1985, at the age of 37, Cherry Groce was wrongfully shot by the police in her own home, witnessed by her 11-year-old son, Lee Lawrence and his siblings. Cherry was left paralysed from the waist down. The children were left traumatised. In April 2011 Cherry Groce eventually died from her injuries having spent 26 years in a wheelchair. At the time, the shooting sent shockwaves through a community that had become accustomed to police brutality aimed at black males - and sparked the second Brixton Uprising – an overflow of anger and frustration at the institutional and everyday racism that the Black community faced.

 

“I remember screaming: ‘What have you done to my mum?’

I heard my mum saying: ‘I can’t move my legs, I can’t breathe, I think I’m going to die.’

At that moment everything in my life changed for ever.”

Lee Lawrence

 

 In the aftermath of the shooting and in subsequent years, Lee and his siblings were systematically failed by the agencies and institutions that exist to support – the council, social services, schools, and the police. The community was catalysed to act together relentlessly and persistently in the pursuit of justice for 35 years. Cherry Groce never lived to see justice served. It was eventually achieved through a process of Restorative Justice. Whilst much has changed in Brixton since 1985, Lambeth remains an area where too many people experience violence and where relationships between agencies, including the police, remain strained and support is lacking.

 

The Cherry Groce Foundation was set up in 2016 in memory of Cherry Groce, a mother who chose to live life to the fullest. The Foundation is committed to carry out its work in the momentum of the positive energy that radiated from Cherry Groce and her belief that truth and justice will ultimately triumph.

The Cherry Groce Foundation Exists to:

 

  • Honour Cherry Groce so as to ensure that our future will learn from the past.

  • Build communities through the pursuit of justice.

  • Work at the root cause to prevent miscarriages of justice.

 

 

Our Goals:

  1. Ensure the Court Order of agreed Restorative Justice made to the Metropolitan Police in 2016 is wholly fulfilled

  2. Build the “Path to Justice” educational programme to improve community relations in Lambeth

  3. Reduce violence across Lambeth

  4. Support victims of trauma, misjustices and disability caused by violence - particularly those from black and minoritized ethnic communities and disadvantaged backgrounds

  5. Work collaboratively across the community to support equality, positive relations and experiences for all.

 

 

Activities to Achieve our Goals:

  • Restorative Justice & Mediation;

  • Education;

  • Training;

  • Trauma Support;

  • Advocacy

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Dorothy 'Cherry' Groce

1948-2011

 
 

A FUTURE OF JUSTICE,
FOR ALL OF US.

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The Memorial exists to

  • create awareness and understanding of the life and experience of Cherry Groce and her family, as well as the broader community.

  • create a permanent place of reflection and inspiration for the public to connect with the full concept of justice and reconciliation.

  • highlight the importance of this event to modern British society and place it in its historical context.

  • be the centrepiece and catalyst to a broader programme of learning

THE INSPIRATION FOR THE DESIGN

Sir David and Adjaye Associates have designed the memorial to be a pavilion that will be used by the community, in which the canopy speaks to protection and shelter; the pillar to strength and support; the triangles to the mountains of West Africa and Jamaica in Cherry’s roots. Together, these elements combine to create a memorial that is outward-looking and optimistic, as Cherry was and the community continues to be.

LEGACY FOR THE FUTURE

Alongside the Memorial, we will develop The Path to Justice Programme that consists of:

  • teaching resources that will enable teachers across England, Scotland and Wales to bring the concepts and dimensions of justice to life for students, rooted in a vital moment of modern British history, so that they can be empowered to make justice reality in their own lives.

 

We believe that, together, the Memorial and Education Programme will provide an important and valuable national platform for our society to understand and grow from a part of our history that challenges us to create a more just future, for all of us.

The Memorial will be delivered by the Cherry Groce Foundation, registered with Charity Commission of England & Wales (#1165412), with oversight and support of our memorial committee:

  • Lee Lawrence (Chair)

  • Lord Paul Boateng

  • Michelle Gayle

  • Simon Jones

  • Dennis Marcus

 

SUPPORTED BY

 

 
HELP MAKE SURE OUR FUTURE HONOURS AND LEARNS FROM OUR PAST
We are creating this Memorial to ensure that for our community and country, we build our future in a way that honours and learns from our past. We hope you will support us if you can:
  • if you're part of a company, we are building a corporate supporter's programme, so please email us.
  • if you're an individual, please donate.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT.
GET IN TOUCH

info@cherrygroce.org

 

We greatly appreciate and value all support, so if you'd like any information or to get involved, please don't hesitate to get in touch. 

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