Westgate’s Wilfred Jenkins to be baton bearer in Queen’s Baton Relay for Commonwealth Games

Wilfred Jenkins will be a baton bearer

Westgate resident Wilfred Jenkins has been chosen as a baton bearer for the south-east leg of The Queen’s Baton Relay leading up to the Commonwealth Games.

Birmingham 2022 is hosting the 16th official Queen’s Baton Relay – a journey which brings together and celebrates communities across the Commonwealth.

The Queen’s Baton Relay is travelling the length and breadth of England for a total of 29 days, before culminating at the Opening Ceremony for Birmingham 2022 on 28 July. The Baton spent four days in London, coinciding with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Weekend, and then resumed its journey with arrival in Kent scheduled for July 7.

JOURNEY: The baton in the Seychelles

It will arrive in Tonbridge, the go on to Canterbury with celebrations culminating at Canterbury Cathedral, on to Folkestone, then Deal Pier and relay along the promenade to Walmer, then Dover with festivities concluding in a party for over 2,000 people at Dover Castle

Finally, on the morning of July 8, the Baton will travel to Gravesham for a multifaith moment of contemplation outside the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara before being handed over to the Eastern region by crossing the Thames from the town pier.

Wilfred,25, will be one of those carrying the baton on July 7. He will be taking the baton on its journey through Deal, carrying it at 6.26pm along the prom from 2 to 52 Kingsdown Road, Walmer.

Wilfred, who is deaf and autistic, has become a bit of a Thanet celebrity through his attendance at  isle events, charity fundraising, volunteering and social media posts which include regular sign language videos.

Charlotte and son Wilfred

He was nominated to be a baton bearer by mum Charlotte, who wrote: “Wilfred is my son, he is 25. He nearly died at two weeks of age when he suffered unexplained fits. He was diagnosed as profoundly deaf aged 2 and a quarter. Shortly before his fifth birthday he found his Dad dead. Aged 13 he was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and Waardenburg syndrome.

“After spending time in a shared supported living home he now lives alone. He works with and supports a lot of charities. To be able to carry the baton would be a great honour for him.”

When Wilfred Jenkins was just 18 months old doctors predicted he would never walk, talk or live an independent life.

He had suffered fits as a baby and nearly lost his life before reaching even two weeks old. At a little over two years old he was diagnosed as profoundly deaf and as a teenager he was identified as being on the autistic spectrum. He was formerly a pupil at the Royal School for Deaf Children in Margate before its closure.

Feisty Wilfred has spectacularly defied all predictions, moving into his own Westgate flat in 2019, volunteering for numerous charities and businesses including Herne Bay’s cat café and enjoying a jam-packed social life.

He has a vast circle of friends on social media who get a glimpse into his life, and the obstacles he conquers, through his honest, funny and sometimes touching facebook posts. Most recently Wilfred has exhibited his photos in the Westgate Galleria and raised money for the Follow Your Dreams charity from the proceeds of his sales.

Wilfred’s work features on cards with profits going to charity

Wilfred is an ambassador for Follow Your Dreams and the charity helped him deal with anxieties during the covid lockdown.

He is also an ambassador for Curly farm, a trustee for Kent Wide Downs Syndrome Group where he helps children and adults with Downs syndrome, especially through Makaton signing, and is a regular at events such as Ramsgate and Margate carnivals and Margate Pride.

He said: “I was recently invited to go to a Makaton grand opening and also I am big fan of Percy Pig which a character from Marks and Spencer, he is definitely my special friend.

“(When the baton bearer news came today) I was in shock and was like’ oh my goodness.’

“I have already planned a busy week as I have lots to do with Singing Hands, seeing Joe Pasquale at the Marlowe theatre and then the baton and then going home for my birthday celebration. It was overwhelming and I couldn’t believe it.

“I can’t wait to do this and at the moment it is quite a lot for me to take in but I can do it.”

Proud mum Charlotte added: “I think it’s a great reflection on all Wilfred’s voluntary work and all he does with the charities he supports. I wanted this to be recognised.”

The Queen’s Baton

Thousands of Baton bearers, each with inspiring backgrounds and stories, will have the honour of carrying the Baton during the journey through England, including those nominated in recognition of their contributions to their local community, whether that be in sport, education, the arts, culture or charity.

Between 40 and 130 Baton bearers will carry the Baton each day as more than 180 communities in England experience the Queen’s Baton on a route spanning 2,500 miles.

Since its inaugural appearance at the Cardiff 1958 Commonwealth Games, the Queen’s Baton Relay has been a tradition for the Commonwealth Games.

The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay began at Buckingham Palace on 7 October 2021, when The Queen placed Her Message to the Commonwealth into the Baton and passed it to four-time Paralympic gold medallist Kadeena Cox, who had the honour of being the first of thousands of Batonbearers to carry the Baton.

Since then, the Baton has visited Commonwealth nations and territories in Europe, Africa, Oceania.

For more information on the Queen’s Baton Relay, visit www.birmingham2022.com/qbr.


  1. Totally deserved and a worthy reward for the hard work he does and happiness he gives to so many people.

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