Politics

Man in lion suit gives disadvantaged Brent kids ‘something to smile about’

A man in a lion suit has given disadvantaged Brent kids denied trips out by Covid ‘something to smile about’.

The John Lyon’s Charity had its School Holiday Activity Fund (SHAF) paused because of the pandemic, so instead travelled across London’s urban areas with a giant furry lion to surprise youth clubs and children’s organisations in place of their usual summer activities.

Disadvantaged children across Brent, Harrow, Camden and Ealing all received cupcakes from the man in a lion suit throughout August after missing out on their usual roster of summer fun.

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Due to coronavirus no money was put aside for the usual theme parks, beaches and day trips the charity had provided disadvantaged kids in the past.

The lion suited man was used by the charity as a celebration of the resumption of the SHAF scheme now things have opened up post lockdown.

The children gather round the charity mascot

Unfortunately the lion was the only holiday fun they will receive this summer and they will have to wait until next year to benefit from the charity’s resumed holiday program.

The fund has previously provided trips to the beach, theme parks, theatre outings and more, most of which the children and young people have never had the opportunity to experience before.

Man in lion suit gives disadvantaged Brent kids 'something to smile about'

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A spokesperson for the John Lyon’s Charity said: “Since 1991, John Lyon’s Charity has awarded over £164 million in grants to a range of children’s organisations that seek to promote the life-chances of children and young people through education.

The charities mascot finds a mate in the garden
The mascot finds a mate in the garden

“This year the charity celebrates 30 years of grant-giving and to mark the occasion it has sent its furry mascot John the Lyon to commemorate with kids’ groups across London who desperately need something to smile about.”

The lion made the kids smile, as did the cupcakes.

John Lyon’s charity is hopeful that these trips can be sorted through the year and children’s holidays can become ‘filled with adventure again’.

Until then the lion and cupcakes will have to do.

More information about the charity can be found here.


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