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SOS Africa Charity Staff Say Goodbye to Sponsor and Friend, Jon Roads
16 Aug 2017
With lumps in our throats, last week the staff at SOS Africa’s Shepton Mallet Office bid a sad farewell to long-term sponsor and friend Jon Roads. A local businessman with a big heart, Jon first contacted SOS Africa back in July 2012 to offer the support of his Evercreech-based company, Roadhogs. A big moment for the charity, having only been established in the town for a few months, Roadhogs quickly became SOS Africa’s first long-term corporate sponsor.
In the years which followed, we sent Jon regular updates on the growing numbers of children his sponsorship enabled us to support. With the company’s support still going strong, the sponsorship generated has just reached £8000, equating to an incredible 33 years of school tuition for the children we support in South Africa.
Not stopping there, Jon even signed up to participate in SOS Africa’s “Nominate an Inmate” 24 Hour Charity Lock-In at Shepton Mallet Prison. Sentenced for “being bossy,” “letting food rot in the fridge” and “shaving off his beard without permission” (the list goes on), Jon and his fellow inmates raised an incredible £35,000 for the SOS Africa children. Following closely in his father’s footsteps, Stephen Roads also participated in this year’s event.
It was no surprise to those lucky enough to know Jon, that his funeral service was filled to capacity by friends, family and colleagues who had been touched by his warmth and kindness. As we listened in awe to his eulogy, we all felt privileged to have been part of his story. Among his vast array of legacies, I could not help but think of the many children’s lives, in a town many thousands of miles from his own, now transformed thanks to the generosity of this wonderful man.
The thoughts of our staff and children are with Jon’s friends and family at this difficult time; we shall never forget all he has done for us and those around him.
Matt Crowcombe (Director, SOS Africa)
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