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Jimmy puts his best foot forward for Shannon Trust

22 October 2021

Jimmy has now run three half marathons to raise funds for Shannon Trust. He told us why the charity is so close to his heart.

Jimmy Joy is one of our fantastic supporters raising vital funds for Shannon Trust, helping to transform the lives of disadvantaged people through reading. Find out, in his own words, why he continues to fundraise for Shannon Trust.

"Since retiring, I started running and joined a local running club, Exmouth Harriers which is a small, friendly and welcoming group on the South coast of Devon. In the process, I have run in three half marathons, each time, raising funds for the Shannon Trust. Personally, I think the charity does a wonderful job; it is close to my heart.

"I feel strongly that reading is such an important aspect of coping in this world - both for enjoyment and getting by and getting on. I was a late developer myself and experienced how disorientated one can feel when you can’t rely on deciphering letters on paper easily.

"Having worked in education in schools, I have seen what a disadvantage it can be without it; or conversely how helpful reading can be in countless ways. Providing prisoners with the opportunity to engage with these key skills seems such an essential and important way of helping people to help themselves and overcome a major disadvantage. I like the notion of prisoners helping fellow inmates. This seems like a great way of teaching and learning. I am amazed at the courage adults and young people must have at times to admit they have a problem and want to work to address it and learn a new skill. English is a complex language, with all its irregularities and learning to read and write is not an easy challenge. We need to support them in every way to do this.

"I just completed the Windsor half marathon. It is a lovely course, set in the grounds of Windsor Great Park; there was some great encouragement from lots of people on the route which did very much help me through at the end - trying desperately to keep going and cross the finishing line in my target time of under two hours (1:54:15), so I was well pleased.

"I plan to run a half marathon next year as well and hopefully raise more money for the Shannon Trust."