Charity event raises thousands in honour of London Bridge victim Jack Merritt

Dozens of people have turned out for the Running for Jack event to help raise thousands of pounds in memory of London Bridge terror attack victim Jack Merritt.

People made use of their daily exercise during lockdown to run, walk and cycle for the fundraiser, with donations going to the Learning Together prisoner rehabilitation programme, of which Mr Merritt was course co-ordinator.

A JustGiving page was set up for the campaign, which has more than doubled its fundraising target of £15,000, with upwards of £30,000 raised by more than 1,200 supporters.

Organiser Jeffi van Hees said the original plan had been to run the Hackney Half Marathon as part of the fundraising campaign before the event was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

But she encouraged supporters to get their running shoes on and get involved in any way they can.

In a tribute posted on the JustGiving page, she said: “Jack was extremely passionate about prisoner rehabilitation and prison reform and had an innate knack for seeing the good in people.”

She quoted the words of Mr Merritt’s father, David, who said: “Borrow his intelligence, share his drive, feel his passion, burn with his anger, and extinguish hatred with his kindness. Never give up his fight.”

Scores of people took to social media to show their support, with many posting pictures of their fundraising efforts.

Mr Merritt, 25, from Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, and fellow Cambridge University graduate Saskia Jones, 23, were killed by Usman Khan during a prisoner rehabilitation event at Fishmongers’ Hall on November 29 last year.

Organised by Cambridge University’s Institute of Criminology, the Learning Together programme aims to bring offenders and people in higher education to “study alongside each other”.