Josh flying high after 1,000-mile charity ride in memory of friend

BIG-HEARTED Josh Blanchard
BIG-HEARTED Josh Blanchard

Portsmouth coastguard called to reports of a body near Chichester

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PLUCKY Josh Blanchard has cycled the length of UK dressed as a chicken for charity.

The 28-year-old pushed himself to the physical limit in memory of his friend.

Josh, from Froxfield, near Petersfield, raised more than £1,500 for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust during his 10-day ride from Lands End in Cornwall to John O’ Groats in Scotland.

The former Ditcham Park and Bedales pupil said: ‘My very good friend Chloe died of cystic fibrosis when she was far too young. This is me trying to make it up to her, by helping to make the future for other sufferers better,

‘Lots of people are out there doing some amazing charity fundraising, and for me it was important to do something really fun that other people would get enjoyment from seeing.’

Josh, now a property manager working in London, and about 20 friends who cycled alongside him, collected hundreds of pounds from well-wishers on their 1,000 mile ride from the south to the north.

Friends and relatives, many of whom are regular customers of the Trooper Inn at the top of Stoner Hill, Froxfield, were also generous in their support. Josh’s father Peter Blanchard said: ‘I and his mum Zara and grandmother May are all very proud of him, and would like to thank everyone who supported him and donated. It was a fantastic effort for a really worthwhile cause.’

The Cystic Fibrosis Trust helps fund research and clinical care for the 9,000 people in the UK living with the life-threatening inherited disease.

The illness is caused by a faulty gene that controls the movement of salt and water in and out of cells. It affects internal organs such as the lungs and digestive system, clogging them up with a thick sticky mucus.

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