14-year-old Joseph Tillotson hopes to raise at least £500 for Simon Says, a charity in Hampshire which helped him ‘understand his feelings’ following his grandfather’s loss.
The charity aims to support Hampshire children and young people, up to the age of 18 years, who have a significant person in their life who has died or is dying.
Joseph said: ‘I’ve seen the positive affect that charities like Simon Says have on people and I wanted give back.
Woman, 44, whose large Dobermann dog mauled girl, 3, on Leigh Park street released back into neighbourhood by police
WATCH: This is the moment a man with a grudge fire-bombed a family's garden in Leigh Park
Four people hospitalised after 'serious' multi-vehicle crash involving lorry on A27 near Chichester
Council refuses to close Gosport splash park despite it leaking 'thousands of litres of water'
Community in horror after little girl suffers ‘life changing injuries’ after being attacked by Dobermann dog in Leigh Park
‘My grandfather passed away during Covid last year, and it was really hard. I saw a poster in school of Simon Says and that they met every month down at Gosport, so I went and they really helped me.’
Having previously held fundraisers for various local charities including the Andrew Simpson Centre, Rowans Hospice and The Rainbow Centre, Joseph is looking forward to the abseil due to take place on August 28.
‘I abseiled down Fareham fire tower on my eighth birthday. I found it actually really fun,’ he said.
As well as raising money, Joseph hopes to raise awareness of the services that Simon Says offers to young people like him.
‘In some ways I am very lucky, but some of my friends at Simon Says have lost their mum or dad or a brother or sister which is really hard.
‘They support young people in loads of ways and never ask us for money, they rely on donations and charity events,’ adds Joseph.
His mum, Lucy Tillotson, said: ‘It happened during the middle of Covid, he was at home with nothing to do. He started asking those questions like, why did grandad have to die?
‘It’s really hard for teenagers to get support, they’re quite a tight little group and they support each other.’
His parents are ‘proud’ of the determination the teen has shown in his attempt to spread the word.
‘He spent this Sunday handing out letters around Southsea shopping precinct asking the managers of different shops if they would be able to help him help Simon Says by sponsoring him or donating,’ adds Lucy.