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Josh (14) going the extra mile to help care homes

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Josh Bradley out on one of his daily walks.

Josh Bradley out on one of his daily walks.

Josh Bradley out on one of his daily walks.

A teenager from near Monageer has embarked on a walking initiative to raise money for Ireland's care homes as they try to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

Josh Bradley (14) had hoped to raise €4,000 through his 'Lockdown Mile Challenge' but such has been the success of his campaign to date, that he had already raised over €3,000 within a week.

Speaking to this newspaper Josh's dad, David Bradley, said his son 'never does things by half measures' and he sets off at 7 a.m. each morning to carry out his mile challenge.

At the time of going to press, Josh's campaign had raised €3,837 - much to the delight of everyone involved.

Last Thursday, his campaign received a single donation of €500 which was a fantastic gesture.

Josh set up a gofundme page to raise the money and by the weekend he had 112 donors, 348 shares and 113 followers.

All donations to the fund are going directly to the care homes across the country that were hardest hit by the pandemic.

'The funds raised are to contribute towards PPE and increasing healthcare staff in Ireland's worst affected homes,' said David.

A lot of momentum has built around Josh' campaign and he has received donations and support from all over Ireland and also from people in countries such as South Africa, Mexico, USA, China, France, the UK, and Northern Ireland.

Josh has also been granted permission from the New York attorney representing the world famous author, Mary Stephenson, to use her poem, 'Footprints in the Sand', as part of his campaign.

'He is now officially authorized and licensed to use her renowned poem,' said David, while also commenting that it is Josh's favourite poem.

'It has carried him and millions worldwide through their toughest time,' he said.

Josh also composed his own poem, 'Foot Soldiers', with the help of his mum and it was inspired by 'Footprints in the Sand.

His own poem was composed to acknowledge Ireland's elders, who he calls 'our national treasures'.

Josh has been inspired by the belief everyone has shown towards him and he really appreciates all of the support he has received from people, locally, nationally and internationally.

What makes the significance of Josh's achievement even more noteworthy is the fact he is affected by cerebral palsy and that meant one of the final legs of his walk, on a beach last weekend, was done with the aid of a walking stick.

Josh is a massive Matt Damon fan and he hopes his efforts might result in the Hollywood star acknowledging what he is doing, as he is also currently living in Ireland on lockdown.

Josh also wrote a letter to one of his football heroes, former Ireland legend, Paul McGrath, highlighting his fundraiser.

Josh played in defence with Ireland's junior football team for CP Ireland and he played in the first International CP football tournament.

When Josh goes on his daily walks, he is joined by his mentor and best buddy, his younger brother Taylor (7).

He cycles beside him each morning carrying his water as well as their two pups, Bambi and Moses.

To support Josh's fundrasier log onto www.gofundme.com/f/the-lockdown-mile.

Enniscorthy Guardian