Super Bench for SuperJosh
We have recently launched a special appeal to raise funds for a memorial bench in honour of our boy.
Dawn explains why it’s taken a while to reach this decision: “When Josh passed away his Dad Colin and I made a conscious decision not to have a headstone or somewhere physical to go to remember him. We didn’t feel it was something we needed as Josh is, after all, everywhere we go and in everything we do and always will be.”
However, nearly 18 months on, many conversations have been had with other individuals who would like to have something physical in place to remember their very own hero.
It all started when The R:ed Centre, where Josh used to attend Youth Club, advised their centre was closing, and that the commemorative bench they had on the grounds for Josh needed to find a new home.
Colin and Dawn both have special places they shared with Josh however, they tended not to be the same place. Josh was very particular about keeping some things just for his Dad, and others just for Mum.
Dawn said “For example, I was never allowed to take him around Bury, where he enjoyed flirting with the ladies whilst he was with his Dad because I would undoubtedly cramp his style.”
One place they did all share together was Heaton Park. Josh was more than happy for either of his parents to take him there, and they have very happy and special memories of their time spent there together.
Dawn said “Josh loved visiting the animals, getting messy with ice cream, feeding the ducks and just chilling out in the sunshine during the summer.”
They therefore approached the Park Management Team to ask if it would be possible to relocate the current bench there. While they didn’t have an issue with there being a bench for Josh on site, the problem was that it had to be a specific type of bench because, like the buildings in the park, the grounds are listed too.
The good news is that a new home has been found for the bench from the R:ed Centre. It will be going to live in the garden of Josh’s school, Elms Bank Specialist Arts College, which will be a lovely way for his school friends and the teaching team to remember him.
However, the more people that have been hearing about having a bench for Josh in Heaton Park, the more who have thought it a good idea to dedicate a bench for Josh. Many have said they would love a special place for them to sit and share memories of Josh when they visit the park.
As a charity, we have looked into this further and it is going to cost a total of £1,300 to install the appropriate bench into the park as a physical memorial of our amazing boy. Josh has left the most incredible legacy behind with his Charity helping others in his name and although we could use funds from the charity, these have been raised by our supporters to give direct help and support to other children and their families.
As a result we have created a separate appeal to give all of our family, friends and Josh’s wider SuperJosh family the opportunity to give a little towards funding a bench for Josh, which will then give us a very special place in Heaton Park for us all to share.
You can donate and get involved here.
Thank you for your time and support.