John the Lyon, is a ROARING success

August 2022

Cuddly charity mascot, John the Lyon, is a ROARING success with children and young people this summer. He’s currently touring North and West London to bring ‘ROARsome’ summer fun to underfunded communities during the holidays!

John the Lyon on the Thames
Photo by Tim Koch, Fulham Reach Boat Club

All children should have the opportunity to enjoy their summer holidays, whether it’s a trip to the beach, sports activities, camping or other exciting visits out of London. However, not all children are able to experience these types of opportunities.

To bridge this gap, grant-giving Funder, John Lyon’s Charity, offers a School Holiday Activity Fund so that all children and young people can experience these opportunities. John Lyon’s Charity gives grants to benefit children and young people up to the age of 25 who live in nine boroughs in North and West London. The School Holiday Activity Fund is designed to enable organisations to deliver fun and accessible activities for children and young people during the school holidays, including all half-term breaks, Easter, Christmas and the summer holiday.

John the Lyon meeting the kids

To remind many children’s groups of this important funding opportunity, the Charity has sent its popular mascot John the Lyon on a special “safari tour” to surprise children and young people who benefit from the Fund.

In the past, this Fund has enabled trips to the beach, to theme parks and to theatres and many other exciting adventures, most of which many children and young people have never had the opportunity to experience before.

Stonegrove Estates Youth Project (SEYP) had a visit from John the Lyon earlier this month after receiving a School Holiday Activity Fund from John Lyon’s Charity. Samantha Scott, Youth Director at SEYP said: “It was great fun welcoming John the Lyon to Stonegrove Estates Youth Project summer activities and great for him to judge our Master Chef finals. The beneficiaries respected his decision, after all who’s going to argue with a lyon! Without funding from charities such as John Lyon’s Charity, children and families would struggle and experience even more financial hardship particularly at a time when they should be enjoying themselves during the summer break. Charitable funding supports the delivery of sociable learning activities in a safe environment, which in turn supports improved mental health for children, young people and their parents. We couldn’t be more grateful to John Lyon’s Charity.”

Julie Cavanagh, Manager at Sands End Adventure Playground (SEAPIA) said: “The School Holiday Activity Fund from John Lyon’s Charity has made a huge difference to the project we deliver. It enables us to accommodate more young people, provide positive experiences, meaningful activities, and offer hot healthy meals. Our children and young people were so excited that John the Lyon came to visit, what a lovely experience for them. To see the joy on their young faces makes us all realise how essential it is to provide a safe place to play. All I have heard since is “when is John the Lyon flying back to see us?”

John Lyon’s Charity has distributed over £171 million in grants to a range of organisations across North and West London that seek to promote the life-chances of children and young people through education. If you would like to find out more about John Lyon’s Charity and its School Holiday Activity Fund, please click here.