Justice campaigner Mrs Lawrence, who is to be made a Labour peer, said her stomach is still “turning double somersaults” every time she thinks about her new role, but added she wants to use it to change more lives.
Mrs Lawrence’s seat in the Lords comes after her 20-year fight for justice for her son Stephen, who was stabbed to death at the age of 18 in a racist attack in south London.
She will be known as Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon and yesterday she told the Labour Party conference she was concerned about the “erosion of opportunities” of work for young people.
Mrs Lawrence said more needs to be done to widen the opportunities to create new jobs and provide more training, which she believes will help turn the country around.
After she described the last 20 years as a “rollercoaster”, Mrs Lawrence said the more she shied away from public speaking the more she was asked to do.
Labour leader Ed Miliband introduced Mrs Lawrence to delegates as “very special” and “heroic”, adding she had decided to do the difficult thing to fight for justice for Stephen and improve opportunities for people.
After a standing ovation, Mrs Lawrence told the conference: “Twenty years on from just being a face in the crowd to becoming a public figure I still struggle to make sense of it.
“Stephen was one who was an extrovert. I am not so sure what he would have made of my elevation to the House of Lords.
“I am so excited about this new role and the opportunity it brings me to make a difference, to make change happen and to help build a better future.”