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Rugby League legend undertakes charity challenge

Jamie Peacock MBE, Great Britain Rugby League legend, has announced he is running a unique 100-mile ultramarathon around London to fundraise for sports and mentoring charity Greenhouse Sports on April 16th.

After a successful 52-mile ultramarathon fundraiser in May 2021 raising over £60,000, this year Jamie and sports agency founder Simon Dent have challenged themselves to more than double the distance and feat, again raising money and awareness for Greenhouse Sports in its 20th anniversary year. 

After the charity had to temporarily close their HQ, the Greenhouse Centre, in December 2021 due to safety issues in the Centre’s roof, Jamie pledged to ‘Run for the Roof’ in 2022.

The Greenhouse Centre is a unique community sports centre situated in a 17th century former church and listed building in central London which has served as the charity’s HQ since April 2018, after extensive refurbishment and conversion to a safe space offering free sports coaching and community activities to underprivileged children of all ages and backgrounds 6 days a week. During the first lockdown, the Centre operated as a foodbank to help feed families. 

Together, Jamie and Simon will make a 100-mile double loop around London, starting and finishing at the Greenhouse Centre. Along the way, they will check in at a number of the 40 schools in the capital that Greenhouse Coaches support. 

Greenhouse Sports uses a combination of mentoring and sport to help young people living in poverty reach their full potential, both at school and then into employment. There are currently four million children in the UK living in poverty, and their circumstances have been impacted more by Covid-19, with worse mental health outcomes, academic achievements and employment prospects. 

The charity recently announced plans to expand across the country to help more underprivileged children in the UK, starting with launching in a school in Portsmouth this school year. 

Jamie Peacock said:

Even though this challenge is daunting, at double the length we did last year, we’re determined to raise funds for the kids and help the Greenhouse HQ get back on its feet again. I’ve visited the Centre previously and witnessed the Coaches in action – the programmes have a massive positive impact on young people and help them to stay away from antisocial behaviour. 

On our journey through the capital, we’ll be passing some iconic landmarks and going past some of the schools Greenhouse supports across 17 London boroughs, which was great to experience last year and see the amazing young people Greenhouse supports.

Beatrice Butsana-Sita, CEO of Greenhouse Sports, said:

We’re truly grateful to have Jamie and Simon’s efforts behind us and with an even more ambitious ultramarathon challenge.

The Greenhouse Centre is where our coaches deliver high-quality sports programmes and is the home for our table tennis club, as well as other sports programmes for young people and their families from the local community and beyond. It’s a long road ahead before we can reopen our doors again, but we are hopeful that this fundraiser will help raise awareness and support all of our coaches in making a difference to more kids’ lives.

For donations, please follow the Run for the Roof page on JustGiving.

simon@simonfrancis.org

Founder Member of Campaign Collective, chair of the Public Relations & Communications Association Charity and Not-For-Profit Group. Write mainly about charity, public sector and social enterprise campaigns.