September 16 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Tiny Joshua Osei-Agyemang is a 4ft nine-year-old with a very tall ambition—to climbing Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain.
He couldn’t wait to tell the traders when mum took him shopping in east London.
Now the shopkeepers along East Ham High Street are sponsoring Joshua to make the climb next month for a new children’s charity run by youngsters themselves.
The chip shop is chipping in with £150, the newsagent next door £50 and the fruit’n’veg £10.
But the teenagers organising the hike thought he wasn’t old or big enough to climb the 3,000ft peak.
So the little sprite just muscled his way in.
“The older kids said I was too young—but I went on about it,” Joshua told the Newham Recorder.
“I kept telling them I like mountains because they’re very big and I’ll give it a shot. Eventually they said ‘yes’.”
Joshua, from East Ham, is the youngest member of We Run This Thing, a new charity set up by teenagers in Harlow to raise cash for kids with cancer.
He watched them being put through their paces for two hours including a slog on the treadmill. The gym donated free time and threw in a personal trainer for each of them.
Their target is £7,500 as well as making it to the summit on September 12.
Joshua has already raised pledges of £800 from family, schoolmates—and the shopkeepers in the High Street.
“We’re buying books and toys and art supplies for the kids who don’t get to come out of hospital and run around and have fun,” Joshua explained.
His uncle Paul Appiagyei, 35, helped the kids set up the charity, which has a youth panel whose members must all be at least 13.
The charity’s Michelle Harding said: “This caused disappointment for Joshua who was desperate to be a part of the fundraising.
“But he wasn’t taking ‘no’ for an answer—and came up with the Ben Nevis challenge himself.”
That was enough to clinch it. Joshua will lead the team of older kids up Ben Nevis along with his uncle, other adults and a professional guide.
We Run This Thing is now looking for online sponsors.