14-year-old avid fundraiser plans to abseil Spinnaker Tower in aid of Hampshire grief charity Simon Says

FAREHAM Academy student hopes to raise money and ‘give back’ to a children’s bereavement charity which helped him through the loss of his grandad.

By Elsa Waterfield
Thursday, 26th May 2022, 12:52 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th May 2022, 12:53 pm

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.

Joseph Tillotson is raising money and awareness for Simon Says, a charity which helped him through the loss of his grandad.

‘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.’

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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.

Joseph Tillotson in front of the Spinnaker Tower which he plans to abseil in aid of Simon Says, a charity which helped him through the loss of his grandad.

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.

To donate to Joseph’s fundraiser visit justgiving.com/fundraising/joseph-tillotson1 or for more information simonsays.org.uk.