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Norwich man's ambitious charity challenge pays off

PUBLISHED: 11:07 17 November 2010 | UPDATED: 11:22 17 November 2010

Junior Johnson doing a 24 hour spinning challenge at the Forum.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Junior Johnson doing a 24 hour spinning challenge at the Forum. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2010

A man who completed an ambitious endurance challenge to raise money for a community centre where he runs a project for young people has been offered some of the equipment he needs.

Junior Johnson, 51, took part in a 24-hour solo spin, the name given to indoor cycling classes, at the Forum in Norwich, between noon on Saturday, October 30 and noon the next day.

He was hoping to raise about £5,000 to purchase new equipment for the Catton Grove Community Centre.

Mr Johnson runs his Young Urbanites programme, which was established in London in 2001 and moved to Norwich in 2005, at the centre.

The programme works with local children who have experienced difficulties at school and who were at risk of becoming involved in crime and drugs.

It also delivers workshops which raise awareness of other cultures, and promote anti-racism and community cohesion. Mr Johnson, a spin instructor at the Fitness First Gym on Riverside who ended up cycling for an extra hour because the clocks went back on Saturday night, has now been offered some of the equipment he needs, including an interactive white board, screen and projector and DVD player.

He said: “Some of the people that approached us offered us the equipment at quite reasonable prices.

“We fell a bit short of the fundraising target that we were hoping for but will still be able to get a new white board, projector and Blu-Ray DVD player which is excellent.

“It means we will be able to put on more activities that will draw more people into the community centre.

“We’re looking to do more project-based stuff, more community-based stuff and work with young people outside the school environment, which I now believe is the best way to get to know them. I think we will be able to deliver more effective programmes.”

Mr Johnson, who raised about £2,000 from the spin event in which he cycled a total of 426 miles, said companies that offered equipment included Toucan Equipment Hire and Cash Converters.

He said he hoped the event, which is set to be the first of many, would help inspire others.

He added: “The aim of it was to get the community raising money within the community. Hopefully we’ve raised awareness and inspired other people to do the same.”

To find out more about Young Urbanites, contact Junior Johnson at junior@youngurbanites.org or log on to www.youngurbanites.org

Are you doing something amazing for charity? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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