Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

If I Didn't Do My Bit, They'd Call Me a Selfish B*****d; LONDON JOBS ME AND MY CHARITY

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

If I Didn't Do My Bit, They'd Call Me a Selfish B*****d; LONDON JOBS ME AND MY CHARITY

Article excerpt

Byline: ALICE HART-DAVIS

DJ Jono Coleman of Heart 106.2's Breakfast Show (which he co-hosts with Harriet Scott), might come across as a larger-than-life loudmouth, but he's got a heart of gold

THE hardest bit of charity work is doing things like going to hospices to visit sick kids. I've done a good deal of that, going as Father Christmas every year. It's heartbreaking - especially when you have kids yourself, as I do - to meet children who you know aren't going to have that many Christmases.

I'm a sucker for kids and old people. My mum is about to turn 77 and she walks with a stick, so, for me, seeing someone walking with a stick is an emotional trigger, too, and I want to help.

Choosing which charities you work for, and which ones you have to say no to, is the hardest part of the job I do. I'm lucky. Because I do a radio show, I can at least mention a lot of these charities on air.

Often, people want me to host an auction, but I have the best excuse, since I have to get up at 5am for the breakfast show. At weekends, I want to spend time with my family, but I often end up doing three or four charity things a week.

I might get roped into a sponsored walk, do some hospital radio, go to a dinner or do a photo call. I'm happy to help people like this, and I don't want to portray myself as a charity victim.

I used to do a lot for the Variety Club - both in Australia, where I grew up, and in the UK. Recently, I've been doing more with charities such as the NSPCC and the Leukaemia Society - when I took part in Celebrity Fit Club on TV, I raised [pounds sterling]10,000 for each of those two. The trouble is, the minute you do something on national television, raising money for one charity, you get approached by three more, and it all just snowballs.

One smaller charity I want to get involved with is the Pepper Foundation, which provides support for families whose children have a life-limiting illness. Another charity that's local to me in north London is one for children with Lowe's Syndrome, a rare condition where children age prematurely.

It's a dreadful thing - they don't usually get much older than their teenage years. …

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