Richard Taylor OBE

October  28th, 1948 March  23rd, 2024
Shooters Hill, London
Richard Taylor OBE

“I still break down and I still feel the pain. For the rest of my life I will have to live with it.”
Mr Richard Taylor, a decade after Damilola's murder. 


Richard Adeyemi Taylor was born on 28 October 1948 into a middle-class family in Lagos, Nigeria. He came to Britain to study public administration at Harrow Polytechnic, married Gloria, and returned to Nigeria in 1982 to work as a civil servant.

In the summer of 2000, Gloria and their three children moved to Britain to seek medical treatment for Gbemi, who suffered from epilepsy.
Mr Taylor’s job kept him in Nigeria but he joined the family in Britain following the murder of his 10-year old son, Damilola in Peckham, South East London.

The killing made newspaper headlines. CCTV footage taken minutes before he died showed a happy, smiling schoolboy hopping and skipping with the exuberance of youth across the flagstones of a shopping precinct.

It took six years and three crown court trials before two 12 and 13 year old brothers were jailed for manslaughter .

A year after his son’s death, Richard and his wife Gloria set up the Damilola Taylor Trust to campaign against knife crime and create outreach programmes that offered opportunities to inner-city youths. He explained that he wanted the legacy of Damilola’s death to be a better life for underprivileged young people.
Mr Taylor toured schools to talk about the devastating effects of knife crime and the Damilola Taylor Trust established educational courses and mentoring projects. He also liaised with other families who had been bereaved in similar circumstances.
In 2002, it created, with Kings College Medical School, a Programme that gave students from socially disadvantaged backgrounds opportunity to study medicine.
It launched The Spirit of London Awards (SOLA) om the 9th anniversary of Damilola’s killing as an awards ceremony that recognised young people across London for their achievements in the arts, media, sport, campaigning and education.

Since 2016, the Trust has delivered career pathway programmes, giving over 370 disadvantaged young people the skills to apply for jobs in several areas they hadn’t considered, like working in the city finance. It has organised a series of annual lectures attracting nationally known speakers like the directorate of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit. The Trust, and in particular Damilola Youth, its youth board, was a founder member of the Hope Collective. The Trust is currently working in schools to provide programmes to divert young people who the schools think are in danger of being tempted away from fulfilling their potential.

Even after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer Mr Taylor continued to campaign. He remained chairman of the trustees and in July 2023 hosted a meeting with the newly appointed Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Mark Rowley, at the Damilola Taylor Centre in Peckham, the first event in a programme of public meetings by Sir Mark to all 32 London boroughs.
Mr Taylor passed away in the early hours of Saturday, 23 March, 2024 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich.

He leaves behind three children, Tunde, Gbemi and Florence.


Memories and condolences

We invite you to post your condolences or share your Memories.

May 9, 2024
I have some wonderful memories of dear Richard- when I was running my consultancy Well Placed we worked alongside Kings College who ran the access of medicine program. We ran this for 18 months in 7 boroughs and 25 schools. I recalled he was delighted with this development and thanked me for making Daniel's dream come true.
Sharing what our contributed
I also worked as an education consultant for Southwark and ran workshops for both the primary and secondary sector the theme was making dreams come true this was done in Oliver Goldsmith School and the training centre.

The events were attended and facilitated by Dame Maggie Aderin Popock Chancellor for Leicester Univerisity who spoke eloquently and passionately about her love of space. We were also assisted by Professor Donald Palmer from the Royal Veterinary College and Dr Aroushka James who was training in Manchester to be a Doctor

When young people completed their drawings and stories they were all given a Mary Seacole badge. Therefore their efforts contributing to the Mary Seacole Statue appeal.

Let's continue for peace and blessings to us all. Long may we remember the Taylors
.Mia Morris OBE FRSA
April 19, 2024
What an incredible man and an honour to our nation. My thoughts and love go out to his family and may he rest in eternal peace x
Francesca woodward
April 18, 2024
My deepest condolences to the Taylor family.
Richard was a kind and warm and loving person, who had a big heart. May he rest in piece.
Dr Marcia Shakespeare MBE
March 27, 2024
We say good by to my close friend Richard Taylor , who passed away at 75 from Prostate cancer. I was supporting the Damilola Taylor Trust since 2005, Our last shared event was a touching afternoon tea at the House of Lords on November 27th 2023, honouring Damilola's memory. It was a moment filled with love and reflection, made even more special by Richard's presence. Rest peacefully Richard Taylor OBE, missing our daily conversations.
My heartfelt condolences go out to his family .
Eulalee Clarke
March 27, 2024
Our condolences to all the Taylor family, friends and colleagues at this sad time. You will all have been inspired and blessed by sharing his vision. To offer care for those young people - with their hopes and dreams- as they seek a role in our world. Free from prejudice, violence and hatred. May he rest in peace and rise in Glory.
Mrs.Janet Swain
March 27, 2024
I had the privilege of working with Richard for a couple of years. He was an amazing man - dedicated to ensuring that young people had fair opportunities to develop and grow. He really was an example to all - aways acting with integrity and dignity. RIP Richard x
Mary Thoreau
March 26, 2024
I didn't know Richard or the Taylor family personally but my own family remember so well the terrible news of Damilola's murder. And we will always remember and be grateful for the courageous and humane way that Richard and Gloria continued the meaning of their son's life in the amazing work they did. Richard must have been a truly exceptional person, I was very sad to hear of his death.
Amy Smyth

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