Young fundraiser George Mathias has revealed his next #RunWithGeorge challenge – to run one million steps and raise vital funds for the UK’s leading youth charity, The Prince’s Trust.
George, 12, whose first feat saw him raise money for Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital as a thank you for saving his brother’s life, will enlist the help of friends, family and a few famous faces to reach the ambitious target, which works out as 500 miles.
Ben Shephard, Jenni Falconer, Giovanna Fletcher and Iwan Thomas have all already signed up for the challenge, which will run between June and next January.
George won the Pride of Britain Young Fundraiser of the Year award for his previous effort in 2017, raising over £750,000 for more life-saving equipment at Alder Hey, and he now hopes to inspire the nation once more and support young people across the UK.
George and his family recently visited a Prince’s Trust centre in Liverpool and learning about the work happening there and in the wider North West transforming young lives made Run With George’s next cause an easy decision.
He said: “When I started running to raise money, I wasn’t very confident, and I had no idea how my life would change. Running has given me my confidence, and I want to tell other people my story to show that no matter how young you are, you can still make a big difference in the world. I am so excited to be supporting The Prince’s Trust with my new challenge, because they have inspired so many young people to achieve great things. I hope to get lots of people involved along the way.”
Richard Mathias, George’s dad, said: “When we visited the Prince’s Trust Centre in Liverpool, as a family we were so impressed with the work they do to inspire young people to fulfil their potential. George wanted to set himself a new challenge, and he also wanted to tell his story in the hope that it would inspire other young people to look at how they can make a difference. His little brother James is also a part of the new challenge, and we cannot wait to start running, fundraising, and hopefully inspiring other people to get involved.”
Tisian Lynskey-Wilkie, from Liverpool, was 18 and studying to pursue a career in fashion at the London College of Fashion.
When she was organising her student accommodation she found out that she was pregnant.
Despite challenges and being in a difficult relationship Tisian decided to look for a career that would give her security to provide for her son. Aged 20 she retrained and completed an access to Higher Education course and successfully gained a place on the Midwifery course at university.
Unfortunately, her midwifery dream was not as she expected. Tisian was understandably nervous about leaving the security of a job, as she had her son to consider and bills to pay, but she was determined that starting her own business was the right step forward for them both. She decided to leave midwifery in 2017 and study for a Masters degree in Public Health and Nutrition, while setting up her new business.
She joined The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme in June 2018 and launched her business – Hydrobumps - in January 2019. Now she is operating her aqua-natal aerobic classes in three centres and working in partnership with Liverpool City Council.
“The Prince’s Trust has given me so many opportunities to develop skills and network, and the support has been outstanding. My mentor is a brilliant source of knowledge and I feel like I’m part of a big family. I’m excited for the future and feel equipped to help my business to thrive.”
Tisian is now planning to expand her business to other sites and hopes to see the company commissioned as a community Public Health Service.
Tara Leathers, Deputy Chief Executive of The Prince’s Trust, said: “George’s passion for helping others is truly inspiring and his enthusiasm has already galvanised so many people to support #RunWithGeorge. We are extremely excited to be part of his new challenge and George and his family should feel very proud of the impact it will have on thousands of young lives.”
To find out more about George’s new challenge, and to donate, visit www.runwithgeorge.com
Three in four young people supported by The Prince’s Trust move into work, education or training.