London Anti-Violence Campaigner wins Tesco Inspirational Mum of the Year Award
Four months on from the London riots, a mum of five sons & foster mother of two from Enfield has been awarded the prestigious Tesco Inspirational Mum of the Year Award for her work in empowering young people to overcome gang violence.
Hazel Nelson-Williams grit and determination to make a difference in the fight against youth crime marked her out as a winner to the judging panel, which includes Arlene Philips OBE and Denise Lewis OBE.
Hazel, along with seven other winners, will be presented with her Tesco Mum of the Year Award in a glittering star-studded ceremony in London in March 2012.
Hazel has been heavily involved in empowering the lifes of young people for over 15 years often giving them respite in her home whilst coaching & supporting them through lifes twists & turns.. some now affectionately call her mum!
Since 2007, 10 boys under the age of 21 have been murdered in Enfield & countless more stabbed. When Negus McClean was brutally killed in April of this year, Hazel decided enough was enough, and took to the streets in protest of the spiralling violence. Hazel galvanized 450 members of the community with support of Enfield youth service, into taking action in the form of a Peace March, which culminated in workshops designed to educate young people and families on subjects from Gang Awareness to Confidence Building, Parenting, Weapon Awareness entrepreneurship and Money Management.
Hazel said: I met a mother at the workshops who told me about her daughter shed discovered a sharp pair of scissors in her bag. Her daughter said shes been carrying them since Negus had been killed because she was scared. Instead of carrying weapons, we encourage parents & youth to take self defence weapons awareness classes or carry an alarm to help stop the cycle of violence.
Negus brutal murder was also the catalyst for a long wished-for ambition of Hazel & her family: to start a charitable foundation (the Nelson Williams Foundation) that could affect positive change at a grassroots level, which she funds through doing speaking engagements & other fund raising activities such as car boot sales! When the riots started in London, Hazel, her husband Dennis with sons in tow, headed down to talk to the teens involved and steer them away from trouble.
Speaking to young people on their level and listening to them is something that Hazel feels very passionate about. From diffusing a situation at the scene of a fatal stabbing in August that threatened to turn violent, to going out of her way to talk to teens on the street daily, she works hard to reach out to youth & their families whenever she can. To that end in June Hazel authored a parenting book LAND OF MILK & TERROR A Survival Guide for Parents, a humorous narrative on how together they combat the pressures & successfully raised their sons The book is jam packed with tips, strategies & game plans for parents all proceeds helps to support her community initiative!
This was followed by a Peace Vigil after the untimely deaths of 14yr old Leroy James & 21yr old Steven Grisales in Enfield. Hazel says the next big event will be in January 2012, Family Focus & Empowerment conference with workshops & seminars designed to set the new year off positively.
The inspirational mum said: I am just a normal mum with a large brood, who has decided to use my voice to fight against mindless acts of violence, which robs our neighbourhoods of peace, instils fear in everyone who lives here and most heart-breaking of all, costs young lives. We formed The Nelson Williams Foundation to do our part in affecting a mind shift change in our young people at grass roots level, the government cant do this... It takes a Village to Raise a Child! Mothers in particular are so important often having more hands on daily influence on children You know, when youth get arrested, the very first thing they do is ask for Mum.
Liz Jarvis, Tesco Mum of the Year Editor, said: Hazel is a truly inspirational mother and its an honour to be able to recognise her achievements through the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards. Most people would be terrified to approach rioters or gangs in threatening situations, but Hazel gets stuck in and does what she can to calm the situation. She is making a tangible difference to the lives of people in her area - we need more like her!
For further information, interviews or images, please contact Rebecca Barnes at Mason Williams Communications.
T: 0845 0941 007
Or the Nelson Williams Foundation
Tel 07904 290155
PRESS RELEASE Founder wins
TESCO MUM of the year 2012