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#MoveForJack — In memory of Jack Ryan

After we unexpectedly lost our colleague Jack Ryan in January in a traffic incident, his colleagues and friends in the firm came together to celebrate and honour his memory. The resulting #MoveForJack campaign raised £50,000 in funds for two charities that Jack cherished.

Setting the scene

A senior manager in our Digital Marketing team, Jack was a steady presence and important to so many of us. He was dedicated and always so passionate about pushing boundaries to ensure we were being innovative and results focused. Jack excelled in all he did and possessed phenomenal, seemingly limitless talent.

In addition to his passion for his craft, many people talk about how wonderful he was — thoughtful, warm hearted, fun, an all-round nice guy just shy of turning 30. We wanted to honour his memory by doing something that would make an impact in the way that he had impacted so many of us.

How we helped

Jack was a big fitness fan. He had participated in the #MyRun challenge earlier in the year and clocked up 100km for the Nike challenge in the same month. Having a fitness element to any tribute we paid him made perfect sense — we would move, for him, as he had moved many of us; and so #MoveForJack was born. 

The weekend of 20–21 March, when Jack would have been celebrating his 30th birthday, we aimed to collectively ‘move’ 1000km and raise funds for charity. The two charities chosen were close to Jack’s heart: Aston Villa Foundation as Jack had been a lifelong Aston Villa fan, and the London Ambulance Service with whom Jack and his partner Liz Austin (also a PwC employee) had volunteered. 

#MoveForJack was an epic weekend of grit, determination and fun — people ran, walked, cycled, worked out, played a sport, roller skated, danced (and even skied!) or undertook a number of other physical activities. It provided a much needed forum for us all to process our loss and to make a real difference in Jack’s memory.

Jack Ryan

“This has been a very emotional time for us as a family but we wanted to say an enormous thank you to all the amazing people who ran, cycled and walked over the weekend to raise funds in memory of Jack. The money raised is truly amazing and we know Jack would have been so proud of all of those who took part.”

Noel Ryan, Teresa Ryan, Ciara Ryan and Liz Austin Pictured are Liz, Jack’s partner (L) and Ciara, Jack’s sister (R) in Battersea park participating in #MoveForJack, next to the tree that was planted in his memory

Making a difference

That Jack’s family, friends and colleagues would participate and donate was to be expected. What was unexpected was total strangers also taking part, and the outpouring of love and respect for Jack on social media as strangers and even Aston Villa footballers shared support and condolences. The circumstances were heartbreaking, but Jack would have been hugely proud that we were listening to everything he taught us about the impact of social platforms.

The target set was to ‘move’ 1000km, collectively, but what transpired was beyond awesome: over 200 people participated, travelling the combined distance of a staggering 5400+km. Some of the highlights were:

  • Some of the team cycled or ran 30k or 30 miles (for Jack’s 30 years), including Jack’s sister, and partner. Others managed to cycle more than 200k in one day!

  • Over 180 bike rides! One colleague cycled 182km from London to Brighton and back

  • Some opted to travel the distance Jack Grealish runs in a Premier League game = 7.5km (former Villa captain, talisman, Jack’s favourite player and namesake). Others covered the distance from Jack’s hometown to Villa Park = 9km (the distance Jack would travel to follow his beloved Villa as a boy)  

  • We went global as friends and colleagues joined in from Australia, Canada and over 40 locals in Menorca walked 10k

  • We were joined by several little people and fur babies

We were able to really bring to life the essence of what Jack was about: footie, fitness and… fantastically innovative. 

#MoveForJack also spurred a petition by Rob McGibbon to make Battersea Bridge (the site of the traffic incident) safer, which has since been successful: Transport For London plans to begin installing a pedestrian crossing on the north side of Battersea Bridge on 23 October, scheduled to be completed by late November.

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