A determined mum who is campaigning to prevent knife crime among young people has told of the terrifying ordeal her son went through while living in Lewisham.

Natalie Wright, 42, set up the Reclaim programme in November to support parents whose children could be in danger.

Miss Wright moved to Lewisham in 2015 with her son, who was 18 at the time. According to the mum-of-two, “everything was going fine” until she lost her job and split from her partner while she was pregnant.

“I spiralled into prenatal depression,” Miss Wright told News Shopper.

Meanwhile, her son, who cannot be named to protect his safety, had mentioned to his mother that “boys were bothering him.”

In the summer of 2016, Miss Wright’s son came home from a supermarket trip out of breath and without any shopping. He told his mother he had been targeted by a group of thugs with knives and ran home to escape them.

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The threats towards the teen continued for nearly two years while his desperate mum tried to get help.

“I felt like, in order for someone to understand what I was going through, my son needed to be dead.

“I just used to wake up every morning and prepare myself for that phone call that he would be dead,” she told News Shopper.

The concerned mother fell deeper into depression as she despaired for her son’s safety.

“In December 2017 I started stockpiling medicine to take my own life,” she said.

But a traumatic incident in March 2018, in which her son was saved by her neighbour, changed everything.

“[My neighbour] had been driving down the street and saw a commotion with people on mopeds. They were wielding knives and machetes.

“He looked closer and saw that my son was trapped in a corner and surrounded by boys who had knives.”

After jumping out of his car, the neighbour managed to wrestle one of the boys off his moped and brought Miss Wright’s son inside.

“They were so aggressive they smashed my neighbour’s back window with a machete.”

After hearing about this incident, Miss Wright’s friend, Jessica Ormerod, stepped in to help.

“When I heard about what happened, I was absolutely horrified,” Mrs Ormerod told News Shopper.

"Clearly, something needed to be done otherwise he was going to die."

Together, the pair managed to contact MP Ellie Reeves, who arranged for Miss Wright and her son to be rehoused in a safe area within weeks.

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Since moving out of the borough, Miss Wright has joined with Miss Ormerod to start Reclaim, which mentors parents and children in how to protect children who are at risk of being targeted.

The mums were inspired to run the project after Miss Wright realised there was not enough support for parents who wanted to safeguard their children.

She explained: “All the agencies that I was told to contact were for parents whose children had been killed.”

Reclaim, which is part of Miss Wright’s organisation Nxt Steps, offers side-by-side mentoring of children and parents who are at risk to improve communication.

The volunteer-run programme also works with schools and the National Fostering Agency to provide workshops, drawing upon Miss Wright’s 20 years of experience as a community worker.

Miss Wright and Mrs Ormerod have recruited mum Keisha McLeod, whose 14-year-old son Corey Junior-Davis was murdered in 2018, as an ambassador for the project.

Together, the team hopes to take Reclaim’s mentoring programme to every single London borough – but resources are tight.

“The lack of spending power restricts the number of people you can help,” Mrs Ormerod, who also runs an independent research organisation, explained.

Miss Wright added: “All the work for us is done in kind.

“It’s all about reclaiming the community and rebuilding those relationships.”