Apr 13 2012 By Jane Harrison
On the final week of nominations in the Gazette's Pride in Our People awards, run with the University of West London, we highlight people who have found strength in the face of overwhelming adversity.
A WOMAN whose son was brutally murdered on Mother's Day seven years ago and has campaigned against gun and knife crime ever since has been nominated by her daughter.
Anton Hyman, aged 17, was shot, beaten and left with multiple stab wounds in the River Brent, Greenford, on March 21, 2004. No-one has ever been charged with his murder.
While Anton's mother, Vanessa, has always fought to find his killers and still hopes for justice, she has spent the years since her son's death working with the police to help tackle gun and knife crime in West London.
Her daughter Cheyna Hyman-Lawrence, who nominated Vanessa for a community champion award, said: "Last year my mum worked with other organisations to organise a march and a conference and launched an organisation, A Mother's Teardrops.
"My mum is my inspiration, she is very supportive in everything I do, plays a leading role in running a local boys' club in partnership with Ealing police and works tirelessly to get justice for my brother. She also spends a great deal of time working with and talking to young people at risk of becoming involved with the wrong side of the law. I am very proud of my mum."
Vanessa, 45, of Disraeli Close, Chiswick, had no idea Cheyna had put her forward.
She said: "That's lovely. I have never been nominated for anything before. She's involved in everything I do and last year was a big year for her. I do still live in hope that I will get justice for Anton, but I can't allow it to rule my life because I have other children to consider."
She plans to continue her work by talking in local schools.
"I have been told by some parents that I have changed their children's ways," she said.