Olympic Torch - Luton Sunday

July 8th, 2012 at 18.13

Meet Your Torchbearers

 Olympic Torch Luton Sunday Name: Babatunde Ajisola
Hometown: Luton
Age: 32
Nomination: I ve been volunteering with Green House Mentoring in Stopsley for about five years now where I mentor young ones, I ve also volunteered with Bedfordshire Police while studying for my Masters degree at the University of Bedfordshire serving in the retail crime unit based at the Arndale shopping Mall in Luton Town Centre-saving police time by doing stuff such as filling the forms,taking finger prints. Football Referee and help organise Redeemed FC U12s
 Olympic Torch Luton Sunday Name: Barry Funnell
Hometown: Clapham
Age: 49
Nomination: Barry lives in Clapham Bedfordshire and works as the CEO of the charity Word for the World. Barry was paralysed from the chest down in an accident 29 years ago. Against the odds, he went on to qualify as a dentist in a wheel chair. He later gave up his career in dentistry to go to Malawi, Africa, to do language development and translated the Bible for the Sena people in a record ten years. This was despite 20 bouts of Malaria. Over 50 literacy centres now operate in Malawi, teaching hundreds to read and write. Barry loves sport, and his disability doesn't stop him! He plays golf one handed from his wheel chair, and won the South Africa disabled open championship twice and the disabled UK Masters. He also enjoys swimming successfully completing the Midmar Mile in South Africa twice (the biggest open water race in the world)
London 2012 Olympic torch Name: David Cole
Hometown: Luton
Age: 71
Nomination: David was a teacher in the local sixth form college for decades and was well respected and admired...ex-pupils still come up to him in the street and thank him for everything he did for them whilst they were studying. When he took early retirement he could have sat back and taken some time for himself, but instead he chose to support people in his local communities. He has volunteered for the local Hospice since 1995, regularly visits elderly neighbours to check they are safe and well, runs the local musical society to encourage new talent, is one of the most 'mature' Sunday League football referees in the county and has mown almost every lawn in the neighbourhood!
 Olympic Torch Luton Sunday Name: Justin Joseph-Beeston
Hometown: Luton
Age: 40
Nomination: 16 years ago Justin was in an accident which left him in a wheelchair yet he keeps a happy disposition which brightens everyones life.My dreams are to be able to make a stranger smile or say WOW.... and not be forgotten... To make a difference.
 Olympic Torch Luton Sunday Name: Marcus Burnett
Hometown: Bedford
Age: 13
Nomination: I would like to nominate my son Marcus to have his moment to shine. In July 2007 our youngest son Jack was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. At the time Jack was 4 and Marcus was 8. Our lives were turned upside down and for the next three years our focus was on getting Jack better. Marcus was a tower of strength to Jack throughout his treatment always being able to make his little brother smile and looking after him and telling him how brave he is. But Marcus has had to miss out on a lot of normal childhood things - holidays and days out have been cancelled at the last minute as Jack was too ill - but Marcus has never complained, instead he has helped to raise over £35,000.00 for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. In our eyes and Jack's eyes Marcus is a hero. Thank you.
 Olympic Torch Luton Sunday Name: Rich Walsh
Hometown: Berkhamsted
Age: 22
Nomination: Richard has always been a giver. Even as a young child he helped his friends when they were in trouble of upset and as a young adult has always helped others through their problems and helped them to be positive through difficult times. He has always had a strong sense of community, raising money for our local hospice at the age of 12 on through a fun run and at 17 by running a marathon. He also worked as a volunteer at our local cancer research shop for a year. He raised several hundred pounds for Ian Rennie through a sky dive and has mentored the less able at school. He has been a blood donor since he was 17. He has supported his single mum and younger sister through very difficult times; his sister calls him her rock. Now at work he always works his hardest and helps others to reach their own potential. He gives his time and support freely to those who need it.
London 2012 Olympic torch Name: Simon Stothard
Hometown: Dunstable
Age: 29
Nomination: In many peoples eyes Simon is already a champion, for despite living with Cystic Fibrosis, from the young age of 13 he has raised thousands of pounds in support of Cystic Fibrosis by undertaking various gruelling challenges.This includes climbing Ben Nevis (twice),many cycling quests covering thousands of miles, various marathons (London 3 times), New York and Luton and countless half marathons. He was spurred on by both parents,particularly his father who became his coach but sadly died in the middle of 2008 organising a cycling trip,which Simon took over and completed in his father's memory. Simon is determined to continue his endeavours in a bid to illustrate to people what can be achieved despite his disability.

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