Princess Diana Award presented to teenager who has raised thousands for charity which saved his life

PUBLISHED: 08:00 08 July 2017

Josh Bell with his Diana Award.

Josh Bell with his Diana Award.

Archant

A 16-year-old Weston-super-Mare boy who has dedicated his life to raising thousands for charity has been presented with an illustrious Diana Award.

Hans Price Academy student Josh Bell was handed the award for his fundraising efforts on behalf of a charity which helped save his life.

When he was only six weeks old, Josh underwent two open-heart surgeries, a stroke and two foot operations and has since had to overcome a great deal of adversity.

He was treated at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and, to show his thanks, began raising money for its Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal.

The aspiring paramedic had raised £2,800 by November 2016 through a range of events, including art exhibitions, charity presentations, bag packing and other sponsored challenges. He has now raised more than £3,000 and is preparing to take part in a sponsored swim.

Josh has also volunteered for the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity and started work on a new project, called the South Weston Help Achievement Project, also known as South WHAP, to help other charities across the South West raise money.

The Diana Award is presented to children who go above and beyond and inspire the action of young people.

The ceremony organisers said Josh’s ‘pure determination’ to make a difference was ‘truly inspirational’.

They added: “In the words of the Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal, Josh is a ‘true fundraising hero’.”

Josh told the Mercury: “It makes me so proud of the work I have completed.

“The support and dedication of the Cabot Learning Federation, schools across Weston and my family and friends has helped me raise as much money as possible for the amazing charity.”

Josh also said he had ‘enjoyed’ the opportunity to see how the appeal worked from both sides – as a patient and a doctor – after completing his work experience alongside Dr Simon Thomas, who performed his surgeries.

To find out more about Josh’s work, visit josh-bell.weebly.com or to sponsor his charity swim, visit www.justgiving.co.uk/fundraising/joshbell-fundraising

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