An Olympic torchbearer has lent his torch to local authority trading company The Barnet Group to acknowledge its staff’s charity fundraising efforts.
Darwin Bernardo was given his torch – just one of 8,000 to be produced for the 2012 Games – after carrying the Olympic flame through Hackney on Saturday 21 July.
But he decided to lend it to The Barnet Group after staff from its subsidiary organisations, Barnet Homes and Your Choice Barnet, raised more than £1,300 for Nutmeg – a youth support organisation that Darwin helped to found in 2008 – and the Kiyan Prince Foundation – a charity set up in memory of a 15-year-old talented footballer who was stabbed to death in Edgware in 2006.
The money was raised through a dress down day and a charity football tournament involving teams from Barnet Homes, Your Choice Barnet, Nutmeg and the Barnet Homes repairs contractor Mears on the sixth anniversary of Kiyan’s death.
On Monday 21 July Darwin presented the torch to The Barnet Group’s Chief Executive, Tracey Lees, and Tim Blanc, who had organised the football tournament.
Kiyan Prince’s death prompted Darwin and two other friends, Rui Jorge Octavio and Claudio Simao, to found Nutmeg to promote anti-gun and knife messages and to encourage more young people to make the most of their talents and skills.
He said: “Barnet Homes and now The Barnet Group have always been great supporters of the work we do at Nutmeg. We were honoured when they offered to organise a football tournament to mark the anniversary of Kiyan’s death.
“I thought it would be a good gesture to lend my Olympic torch to them in return for their support and the money they have raised, and I hope the staff will enjoy seeing it first hand.”
Tracey Lees said: “Nutmeg do some fantastic work in promoting ambition among young people on our estates and encouraging them to get involved in their local community. We are very proud to support them.
“It’s very kind of Darwin to lend us his Olympic torch and I’m sure it will generate excitement among The Barnet Group staff in the run-up to the London Games.”