Josh rides in with �1,000 to ‘change lives’ of cleft palate children

A 13-year-old boy born with a cleft lip and palate got on his bike on Sunday to help “change people’s lives”.

Josh Nash of Anne Way, Hainault raised more than �1,000 with a five kilometre sponsored bike ride in aid of the Cleft Lip and Palate Association which provides support to children born with clefts.

Josh, who attends West Hatch High School, High Road, Chigwell, has had more than 10 operations for the condition.

“You don’t choose to have it you’re born with it and the charity helps you throughout life,” he said. “I hope to change people’s lives and help the families of children with a cleft lip or palate and help them come to terms with it as it is a bit strange.”

A cleft is when a hole occurs in a child’s lip or palette when they are developing in the womb and around one in 700 babies are born with one.

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His efforts have resulted in him being nominated for the Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Award, sponsored by Exchange Ilford.

Josh said: “I think people don’t know enough about it. Babies born with a cleft can have problems with their hearings and speech. They need special bottles as they can’t usual normal ones.”

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The bike ride took place in Clayhall Park and coincides with the Cleft Lip and Palate Awareness Week.

Josh did the bike ride together with five of his friends and his younger brother Ben, eight.

Josh said: “Because I had good friends it doesn’t really make a difference to my life but it’s a good idea to do stuff for charity. I like going on my bike so I thought it would be good.”

Josh said he was no longer frightened of going into hospital and still has to have occasional procedures.

“Because you don’t really understand why you’re going into hospital when you’re young it is frightening but I’m used to it now and it’s only quick.”

Josh’s mother Hedy, 39 said she was incredibly proud of what her son had achieved.

She said: “He’s done everything himself including getting sponsorship and setting up the website.

Visit to donate.

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