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John Jones avatar
John Jones

#RunningforYouthWork

I am #RunningforYouthWork for London Youth because it transforms the lives of young people.

85 %
£2,127.00
raised of £2,500 target
by 48 supporters
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London Youth London Marathon Team 2019

#TeamLondonYouth

Charity Registration No. 303324

Story

I didn’t realise it at the time, but, Monday 5th January 2009, was the date #RunningforYouthWork actually began. What started as a job as Development Officer for London Youth’s sports team, became a career, an adventure, and a way of life. Now after a decade of sports focused youth work, I want to celebrate by running the 2019 London Marathon - my first ever one!

Sport has always been part of who I am. Neyland Athletic Club in West Wales was where it all started for me aged eight. Saturday’s would be football for Neyland Pirates, Sunday’s rugby for Neyland All Blacks and the summer was spent playing cricket for Neyland as well.

I was fortunate to be able to turn my hand to a variety of sports, but I realise now that was the least important part of it. Neyland Athletic Club - my local youth organisation - gave me confidence in my own ability, the opportunity to broaden my horizons, new friendships, and a sense of community, as well as a lifelong love of sport.

In 10 years at London Youth, I’ve worked with over 100 youth organisations like Neyland Athletic Club and been part of a team that has worked directly with over 30,000 young Londoners to help get them active. In June 2016, I also became responsible for my very own young Londoner, Freddie Sebastian Jones and this has only strengthened my belief in the importance of #RunningforYouthWork.

Every young person deserves a support structure, a safety net and a springboard for the journey into adulthood. Young people including Fred need opportunities outside of school to have fun with their friends, to be healthy and creative, to make positive change in their communities and to shape the kind of city they want for the future. Youth work and community youth organisations help deliver all of the above.

As one young person told me on a recent dance residential, ‘I feel happy, excited, inspired and energetic’. I’m #RunningforYouthWork on behalf of London Youth as I believe every young person should get the chance to feel like that.

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