The JJ Effect Youth Club were hard at work over the weekend exercising for 24 hours to raise money for Kim Fletcher who has a rare form of cancer.
The kids worked up a sweat at the Smart Fit Gym on Campbell Street by completing a 24 hour sleepover challenge which involved all different kinds of exercise including running, boxing, weight training and team building.
The event was organised by the JJ Effect founder, Byron Highton, who is also planning a 300-mile bike ride for Kim.
Byron has been running the JJ Effect youth club alongside organising fundraising events whilst giving his knife crime and child safety talks and working hard to reduce knife crime.
He has been working non-stop to help as many young people as he can but that hasn’t lessened his enthusiasm:
“We are so busy at the moment, we have a lot to organise. We have just bought the lease for what is going to be the JJ Effect classroom. I’ve been planning the bike ride and this event today, we have also been in talks about charity events that we have got planned.
“I’m still running the interventions to take knives from the street, we took another knife off the street last Sunday. So sleep is something I haven’t had much of lately but I love it, I said all those years ago that I was going to dedicate my life to this and I meant it, It’s amazing and I absolutely love it.”
Gaynor Duckworth, Owner of Smart Fit Preston, was happy to support a good cause and host the event:
“Lockdown came along and we had 22,000 ft2 of space out of bounds not being used so I think there is no better way to use it than this event today, I’ve been really looking forward to it because they are a great gang of kids and we are going to have a lot of fun tonight.
“I saw Byron’s knife crime talk and there wasn’t a dry eye in the place, he has such a positive effect on these kids and even just getting at least one child on the right track is a winner.”
Kim came to the event to see the fundraising efforts of the JJ Effect Youth Club and was lost for words:
“I am absolutely overwhelmed, I don’t think I have the words to do justice how great these guys are, it’s left me speechless.”
It has been tough six months for Kim but she remains positive about the situation and is happy with her progress:
“I am doing really well compared to what I was six months ago, I’m back on my feet which is brilliant. We are just now waiting for the decision from a panel about having proton therapy.”
Byron gave his thoughts after the event about how happy he was with how well it went and how hard the kids worked:
“I am so proud that we have changed the life’s of our students to the point that the commitment to the programme has blown us away, the event was a huge success and we hope to continue this work on a permanent basis.”