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Posted on 28 Nov 28 Nov

Northern Ireland and Charlton Athletic football star Josh Magennis has been named the newest Celebrity Ambassador for Mencap. For his first order of business, Josh is calling on marathon runners, relay team members and fun runners across Northern Ireland to support the charity and #StepUp4Mencap in 2017’s Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon.

As a Northern Ireland native, Josh said he was interested in supporting the local charity to give back to the place that gave him so much support before he became a professional footballer.

“It means a lot to me to be an ambassador for Mencap,” Josh said. “As a kid growing up in Northern Ireland, I received so much support and was taught that nothing is impossible. It’s important for people to know that children and young people with a learning disability should be valued and that they have a voice. With our support and their determination, passion and dedication, they can achieve anything.

“It’s an honour and privilege to be chosen as an ambassador for Mencap and I look forward to using my platform on social media and beyond to spread the word of the amazing work Mencap is doing across Northern Ireland.”

Josh’s announcement comes six months ahead of the 2017 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon, for which Mencap is the official charity partner. As an elite athlete, Josh said training for an event like a marathon is a great way to encourage fitness in the community while also supporting an organisation.

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“I think it’s a fantastic thing for people to train and fundraise for a run or walk for charity. Whether you plan to do the full marathon or get some friends together for the relay, it’s a great way to stay fit and raise money for a charity that is deserving of your donation. I know there may be people who may not be able to donate as much or run as far as others, but every little bit counts.”

Josh Magennis joins the ranks of actor Kit Harrington, broadcaster Jo Whiley and U2’s The Edge as a Mencap Celebrity Ambassador. Vanessa Elder, Head of Regional Fundraising for Mencap in Northern Ireland said:

“We are so excited to have Josh as our newest ambassador! We are confident his enthusiasm and dedication to sharing the importance of what we do for children and young people with a learning disability and their families will encourage others to #StepUp4Mencap in the upcoming 2017 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon.

“It’s a great time for Josh to come on as an ambassador as there is a 20% off discount between Sunday 27th November and midnight Saturday 10th December for anyone who signs up for the marathon, the relay, the Fun Run or the 8 Mile Walk in aid of Mencap. We encourage everyone to take advantage of this great deal and start training and fundraising to #StepUp4Mencap!”

To avail of the 20% discount, visit mencapbigstepforward.org and use the discount code MENCAP20 when registering. The discount will only apply to those who sign up to #StepUp4Mencap. For more information email fundraising.ni@mencap.org.uk or call Mencap on 02890 691 351.

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