Jack Marshall, a resilient and determined individual, has defied the challenges posed by Moebius Syndrome, a rare neurological condition, to become an inspiring force in the realm of charity and community work. His journey from a participant at Play Scheme to an integral team member at the initiative, demonstrates not only personal growth but also the positive impact such programs can have on the lives of both children and adults.


Background and Early Involvement:  

Jack, born in Doncaster and currently pursuing a Masters in Criminology and Criminal Justice, began his fundraising endeavors at the age of just nine! His remarkable feats, including participating in the Great North Run and skydiving from 15,000 feet, have earned him the British Empire Medal for his dedication to fundraising. Jack's connection with charity work motivated him to transition from a participant in the Play Scheme during his childhood, to an adult actively involved in supporting children with complex needs.  

Working at Play Scheme:  

Children’s Links Play Scheme, which has been run by ourselves since 2015, provides a safe space during Easter and summer holidays for children with complex needs. Jack's decision to work at the Play Scheme stems from his love for children and a desire to demonstrate that individuals with different abilities can make meaningful contributions, and they shouldn’t feel held back. Jane Robinson, who runs the Play Scheme, acknowledges Jack's significant role, noting his "wicked sense of humour" and describing him as a pleasure to work with.  

Jack’s Childhood Memories:  

Jack reminisces about his time at the Play Scheme as a child, highlighting the welcoming atmosphere and the diverse activities that allowed him to develop social skills. He described the Play Scheme as creating a "smile in his heart," and helping his confidence with interacting with other children and adults, emphasising the positive impact it had on his overall well-being and development.  

Influence on Jack's Approach: 

Jack's childhood experiences at the Play Scheme shape his approach when working with children today. He emphasised that as a child, he didn't realise his additional needs, focusing on enjoying play, rather than his limitations. This perspective guides his interactions with children, fostering an inclusive and engaging environment.  

Positive Impact on Children:  

Through his work at the Play Scheme, Jack recounts heartwarming stories of children like George, Molly, Leo, and Abigail, who experienced significant positive transformations – he saw their confidence grow and he brought a smile to their faces. Jack's ability to connect with non-verbal children and make a positive impact reflects the importance of his role in their lives.  

Personal and Professional Growth:  

Jack noted the transformative effect of working with children with additional needs on his personal and professional growth. Overcoming initial doubts, he boosted his confidence and embraced the challenge, demonstrating that anyone can contribute to the well-being of these children, regardless of their own background or abilities.  

Advice and Reflections:  

For individuals with similar backgrounds considering involvement in programs like the Children’s Links Play Scheme, Jack offers encouraging advice. He emphasises the rewarding nature of the experience, the impact on children's lives, and the importance of teaching understanding and acceptance in society.  

The Impact of an Adaptive and Supportive Organisation 

Amidst this amazing story of Jack's remarkable journey, it's crucial to recognise the pivotal role of the organisation itself. Jack's achievements are undoubtedly remarkable, but the inspiring work he has done with the children at Play Scheme wouldn't have been possible without the inclusive environment, support, and opportunities provided by Children’s Links, who have made reasonable adjustments, and fostered an atmosphere where individuals like Jack can thrive and make significant contributions. Without Children’s Links' consideration and support, Jack might not have had the opportunity to showcase his skills and positively impact the lives of children with complex needs, highlighting the organisation's essential role in nurturing talents and creating inclusive spaces.  


Jack Marshall's journey from a child participant to an active contributor at the Children’s Links Play Scheme is a testament to the positive impact such programs can have on individuals with unique needs. His story underpins the transformative power of inclusivity, compassion, and dedication in creating a supportive environment for children facing complex challenges. Through his work, Jack continues to inspire others and contribute to the well-being of all those who he helps.