Earlier this year, Josh reached out to our fundraising team, eager to contribute his ideas and efforts to raise funds for Grove Cottage and sustain the incredible support the charity provides.
Grove Cottage, where our members are always at the heart of everything we do, enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to involve Josh. We were compelled to share his inspiring story, presented in his own words with the assistance of his sister, Mel.
“I’m Josh, and I’m 26 and a half years old. I have Down Syndrome and special needs, and I have been part of the wonderful Grove Cottage family since I was just three years old. I still look forward to attending our clubs every week.” Josh expressed. “Grove Cottage means the world to me. It’s not just a charity; it’s a place that has always had my back. They’ve been there to support me, to care for me, and to be like a second family to me. I can’t thank them enough”.
Josh took centre stage as the Grove Cottage Elf extraordinaire at this year’s Reindeer Run. Not only did he kick off the festivities alongside The Mayor, Cllr Richard Townsend, and present awards to the 1st Family to Finish and the largest participating family, but Josh, joined by Grove Cottage friends Annette and Mina, also challenged himself to complete the full 5k.
His journey holds particular significance, as Josh revealed, “During the tough days of the COVID-19 lockdowns, my mental health took a hit, and it left me with anxiety that I still deal with today. My mum gave me some advice in 2021, telling me to be more of a helper to others. I took that to heart.
With the love and support of Grove Cottage, I get the chance to try new things and rebuild my confidence. Now when I’m at Grove Cottage clubs, it’s not just about what I learn; it’s about how I can support others with my knowledge and my positive personality. I have introduced and led meditation sessions within our groups which are a safe space, surrounded by friends who make me feel at home. It’s my way of helping others find peace and comfort and it calms my anxiety too.”
Looking ahead, Josh has ambitious plans. “I have big dreams. I want to own my own house and make my family proud. With the support of Grove Cottage, I believe I can achieve these goals.”
When asked what he would like people to do upon reading his story, Josh quickly replied “I want to ask for their help. To donate to Grove Cottage to support people like me who live with learning disabilities and special additional needs, as well as their families. Even £1 helps. It means a lot to us who go to Grove Cottage.”
To contribute to Grove Cottage, please visit https://www.mencapgrovecottage.org/events/support-grove-cottage-this-christmas/ and brighten Josh’s day.
For more information about Grove Cottage and the services offered, please take a look at the rest of our website and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @grovecottagemencap for updates and more inspiring stories.