Jono Lancaster, Jeans for Genes ambassador and co-founder of Love Me Love My Face foundation, visited Hexthorpe Primary Academy

Jeans for Genes ambassador visits Doncaster School

Jono Lancaster, Jeans for Genes ambassador and co-founder of Love Me Love My Face foundation, visited Hexthorpe Primary Academy. He spoke to the children and staff about his life and his genetic condition Treacher Collins Syndrome. The children welcomed Jono into their school by singing True Colours, This is Me, and all signed whilst singing A Thousand Words. Then the children and staff had the privilege of listening to the inspirational guest speaker during their morning assembly. All the children had the opportunity to ask him questions throughout the remainder of the day whilst Jono spent time with every class. Jono answered all the children’s questions, played parachute games with the year 1 children, and played football during lunch time. He also made a castle during Foundation 2’s choosing time and a magic potion! He listened to children read their poems they had written for him and the children presented him with the artwork that they had completed whilst he spent time with their class. It was a truly inspirational day for all concerned. Jono travels the world visiting schools, colleges, universities and families to educate people about his genetic condition. His main aim is to raise awareness, break stigma or playground ostracising that can affect people, not only with Treacher Collins Syndrome but other genetic conditions or differences as often these experiences create more upset than the physical symptoms. He is co-founder of Love Me Love My Face Foundation, a charity that supports families with medical costs and emotional support. Jono also works with adults with autism. Higher level teaching assistant, Tracey Dunn, who organises annual Jeans for Genes fundraising for the school said: “I am passionate about raising awareness of genetic disorders.  I first got in touch with Jono to ask if he would come and speak to the children about his genetic disorder and his life two years ago, and we are absolutely delighted that he found the time in his busy schedule to visit us at Hexthorpe. “Our children already know a lot about genetic disorders through our annual Jeans for Genes day and Jono’s charity Love Me Love My Face Foundation’, so it was really wonderful that the children and staff had the opportunity to meet Jono and hear his story first-hand whilst also having the opportunity to ask him questions. They asked him questions from how many operations had he had, how does his earring aid work, how did he stand up to the bullies, how did he feel about having Treacher Collins Syndrome, what was it like carrying the Olympic torch through Wakefield, when did he realise his face looked different, what was his favourite colour, food, song country and the all importantly what football team did he support to name a few.” Children at Hexthorpe Primary Academy  prepared for Jono’s visit by watching a short interview of Jono, attended an after school film night to watch the film Wonder and also created artwork and poems that they presented to Jono. The academy presented Jono with a certificate of donation for the sum of £510.83 for the Love Me Love My Face Foundation which they raised through a coffee evening, cake sale and the film night. Jono said: “Today I visited Hexthorpe Primary Academy. As with every school visit I do, heading in I was a nervous wreck.” He added: “But as always I came away feeling full of love and hope for all of us. As kindness and love are taking over our schools and that's going to flood into our world.  I believe this! “They sang 'This is me'. Oscar wrote me a poem. Porcia drew me a stunning portrait. Sandra gave me 28 pence for the @love.myface foundation. And the whole school gave me hope for all our futures! spreadlove , loveyourself ,treachercollins ,change.”    
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