Dan Jones - our true Local Hero
I’d always thought so. Pretty much everyone who’s ever worked with him thinks so. Now – thanks to the Pride of Britain – millions of others will discover this: Dan Jones is definitely one of London’s finest Local Heroes.
“Rebellious, cheeky and always ready to challenge the status quo, at 72 Dan still has fire in his belly” is how one of Dan’s Amnesty colleagues described him. Few could disagree.
Dan Jones is a gifted artist, teacher, tireless activist and an all-round nice man.
And plus he’s one of Amnesty’s longest supporters. Joining the newly-formed Amnesty in 1961 when he was just 21, Dan has clocked up more than 50 years of human rights campaigning.
Even now, Dan works tirelessly for Amnesty. As Education Adviser for Amnesty, Dan has spoken in hundreds of schools to thousands of young people around the UK, from Guernsey to the Shetland Isles, from Belfast to Brighton.
And sometimes he doesn’t even have to leave the building to enthuse and motivate students. Today – as I write in fact – Dan is carrying out a tour through Amnesty’s Human Rights Action Centre with a group of students from Queen Mary University in east London.
Dan has never shrunk from introducing difficult topics, such as enforced disappearance, torture, the death penalty, refugees and asylum-seekers, to children and young people. Plus, Dan has written children’s stories, and poems. He runs one of Amnesty’s most active local groups (Amnesty Tower Hamlets & City) and carries out walking tours around London. Having lived in East London for many years his guided historical tours in that neck of the woods are really fascinating.
And this year, Dan Jones has been shortlisted for ITV’s Pride of Britain Local Heroes Award.
Only four people were shortlisted, and I for one am not in the least bit surprised that Dan is one which has made it through. If you live in London, tune into ITV’s London Tonight at 6.15pm on tomorrow evening (Weds 10 Oct) to find out more about Amnesty’s true Local Hero.
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.