Josh Braid from Hurstpierpoint is following in the footsteps of his Great Uncle by taking on a South Pole challenge this December in aid of Rockinghorse Children’s Charity and Kidscape.
Next week will see Josh Braid leave the UK to take on his long-planned charity challenge of climbing Mt Vinson (4,892m) in Antarctica and then pull a specially made rocking horse the last degree to the South Pole.
Josh, who works for Knight Frank, has been planning his challenge for around 10 years after being inspired by a similar trip that his Great Uncle made to the south Pole in 1961. Josh explained, ‘Seeing photos of that trip fascinated me and so I started to test myself with various challenges such as cycling to Cannes in five days, climbing the Matterhorn and pulling a tyre 170km, to build the experience required to take on this challenge .’
Josh has supported Rockinghorse since 2021and last year he and his wife welcomed twin boys, one who was cared for in the special care baby unit and the other who underwent an operation. It was during this time that he saw first-hand the work that we do and wanted to give even more back to the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton.
Kidscape is another charity that is close to his heart as he was bullied at school, something which he buried for over 25 years but over the past few years he has felt more confident being able to talk about his experience and help others.
This challenge, generously sponsored by Knight Frank, Dynamic Climate and London Metric, has required Josh to undertake a gruelling training regime to make sure he is physically fit enough to complete the course. Josh is also being supported by Shackleton who are organising the challenge, providing guides for the Mt Vinson climb and the last degree ski along with some of the specialist kit, specifically designed for Polar regions.
Josh explained, “I started by pulling a tyre 170km along the South Downs 170km in 2021 to test myself. Then the following year I went on a polar expedition course in Norway, before pulling a tyre 50km in a day in September. Apart from running, cycling and regularly pulling a tyre, I am also doing HIIT sessions at the Altitude Centre as well as personal training sessions to strengthen and condition my body for Antarctica.”
And about the challenge itself Josh said, “I am really looking forward to going but will be bittersweet to leave behind my wife and four children. There hasn’t been too much time to reflect on the expedition apart from put all my energy into getting to the start line around juggling everyday life!”
Along with training, sorting his kit, coordinating with Rockinghorse and Kidscape, and various fundraising events Josh has also been visiting schools to talk about his expedition in the hope of inspiring children to take on their own adventure.
Josh explained, “I feel that I have a responsibility to share this challenge with young people to hopefully inspire them to fulfil their own passion whether this is art, music, adventure, or sport.”
Emma Cunliffe, Supporter Engagement Manager at Rockinghorse said, “The support that Josh has given to us so far has been astonishing. We thought he would struggle to top his 170km tyre pull, but when he approached us about this amazing idea, we were overwhelmed.
His support will mean so much to so many babies, children and young people who spend time in hospital throughout Sussex and we can’t thank him enough.”
Paula Timms, Kidscape CEO, said: “Josh Braid’s dedication and support for Kidscape’s mission to challenge bullying and protect young lives are incredibly inspiring. His adventurous spirit and commitment to raising awareness and funds for our charity highlight the importance of standing up against bullying.
“We are immensely grateful for his initiative and the spotlight it brings to the critical issue of bullying. Josh’s epic fundraising challenge in Antarctica will make a meaningful difference in the lives of many young people, and we applaud his dedication to creating a world where children can grow free from bullying and harm.”
And there’s still time to support Josh’s fundraising. Just head over to his charity donation platform link here to help support two wonderful charities and help give Josh a boost before he heads off to the Antarctic for a Christmas not to be forgotten!