Jordan Banks, a nine-year-old boy from Blackpool, has earned praise and attention recently thanks to his efforts to raise money for a local mental health organization. Jordan ran 30 miles in 10 days to honor his Uncle Reece who took his own life in 2018 and would have turned 30 this year.
Since beginning his challenge, Jordan has raised nearly £2,500 for his local “Counselling in the Community” service, an organization that supports people with anxiety, depression, PTSD, substance abuse issues, and more.
Thanks to the help of local newspaper LancsLive, word of Jordan’s inspirational efforts reached Liverpool FC, and James Milner has reached out to the Liverpool supporting youngster with a video message of encouragement.
Hi Jordan, how’s it going? I’ve heard that you’re doing an amazing thing in raising funds for counselling in honour of your uncle Reece. I think running a marathon is an incredible feat, and it’s difficult with people doing it with legs a lot bigger than yours, but to do 30 miles is incredible.
I heard you get called Mini-Milner because you’re very determined, so that’s an amazing skill to have. Never ever give up and I hear you’ve been out in all weather fighting in the cold and the rain, so you keep going, and keep doing what you’re doing mate.
Just remember you’ll never walk alone. All the boys are behind you and I’ll send you a couple of shirts - one for yourself for doing an amazing thing and another that you can hopefully raise a bit of money from and put it towards all the money you’re raising. Well done bud, it’s an amazing achievement and you should be very proud.
According to Jordan’s mother, Danielle, he and his Liverpool supporting family were thrilled to receive a message from the Reds’ vice-captain.
“He’s made up, he cannot believe it. He’s shaking and said ‘Oh wow he knows my name!’ He then said ‘It’s crazy and I hope he likes me being like him.’ He’s in shock and I think I am too. He’s so, so happy!”
It’s hard to stay dry-eyed when reading about not only Jordan’s noble efforts but also his excitement at receiving a personalized message from one of his heroes. It’s also really lovely to hear how much having Milner tell Jordan “You’ll Never Walk Alone” meant to him and his family.
“It’s amazing and it’s like it means that not only do they support us but also they stand with us - that times are hard but you're not on your own,” said Jordan’s mother.
As someone who has lost several very close family members to suicide, this story was more touching than I can possibly describe. This young boy putting so much work and love into an effort to honor his late uncle’s memory by trying to help others who are struggling with mental health issues is so incredibly inspirational.
Bravo to James Milner for sending a message of encouragement to Jordan. Bravo to Jordan’s family for raising such a kind-hearted, generous, determined young man. Most of all, bravo to Jordan Banks for his moving tribute and desire to help others. You are doing a wonderful thing and the world would be a much better place if more of us were like you.
You’ll Never Walk Alone Jordan