Norfolk Christian duo given Olympic honour
Two members of the Norwich Christian community, both connected to YMCA Norfolk, have been named as Olympic Torchbearers.
Blind Norwich church minister, Rev Simon Stokes (right) was nominated by Bowthorpe Church administrator Jane Cole from for the difference he has made to the community through his church and non-church work.
At the same time, YMCA Norfolk Fundraising and Communications Manager, Susie Knights (below), has been nominated for her commitment to raising funds for the YMCA in Norfolk and in particular for a £1m appeal towards 40 move-on accommodation units. To date £750,000 has been raised.
Jane Cole said: “Over the past few years Simon has done several amazing things to raise money for Bowthorpe Community Trust Workshop - a charitable organisation which works with trainees with learning and other difficulties to help them acquire work skills and gain a feeling of self-worth.
“Simon was sponsored to do a parachute jump a couple of years ago and more recently ran the Beachy Head Marathon accompanied by his guide dog Tigger. Simon has been an inspiration to the community of Bowthorpe over the past five years, not only in his work with the Workshops but also in his work with the local Youth and Community Centre, local schools, the Bowthorpe Forum, amongst other things - in addition to his work with our church.”
Simon, who is now vicar of Sprowston with Beeston St. Andrew
, said: “I am excited and honoured to be taking part in the Torch Relay in Norwich. I will be completing my part along with Tigger and with my family there to support me.”
Simon has been key to community engagement in Bowthorpe both in his church role and as a governor of two local schools, involvement with the Bowthorpe Community Trust and through bringing the Newday Christian youth team to the area.
Simon is also on the board of trustees of YMCA Norfolk. He will carry the Torch in Norwich on July 4.
Reacting to her honour, YMCA Norfolk’s Susie Knights said: "I am delighted and slightly overwhelmed to have been nominated and most surprised to be chosen to take part in such an amazing event. I am really looking forward to July 5 to celebrate this once in a lifetime opportunity."
"I was fortunate to attend the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004 and was blown away by the passion and excitement that such an event brings and am looking forward to having a small part to play in an event that brings the world together."
Read our previous story on this topic
Find out more about the YMCA Norfolk appeal by clicking here