Adventurer from West Sussex village heads to Antarctic to raise £50,000 for two children’s charities
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Next week, Josh Braid, 39, who works for Knight Frank, leaves the UK to climb Mt Vinson in Antarctica (4,892m) and then pull a specially made rocking horse to the South Pole.
Josh aims to follow in the footsteps of his great uncle who journeyed to the South Pole in 1961. His fundraising page at givestar.io has raised more than £25,000 so far.
Josh said: “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.”
The Rockinghorse Children’s Charity (www.rockinghorse.org.uk), who announced Josh's quest on December 6, said Josh has been planning his icy challenge for ten years.
Josh said: “I am really looking forward to going but it 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 putting all my energy into getting to the start line around juggling everyday life.”
Rockinghorse said Josh has been supporting them since 2021. They said that last year he and his wife saw the work Rockinghorse do first-hand after the couple welcomed twin boys. Rockinghorse said one was cared for in the special care baby unit while the other underwent an operation.
Rockinghorse added that Kidscape, the award-winning bullying prevention charity, is also close to Josh's heart. Visit www.kidscape.org.uk.
Josh said his training regime has been intense: “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.”
His trip has been sponsored by Knight Frank, Dynamic Climate and London Metric. It is also supported by Shackleton, who are organising the challenge and providing guides for the Mt Vinson climb and the last-degree ski, along with specialist Polar kit.
Josh has talked about his expedition at schools, saying: “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.”
Paula Timms, Kidscape CEO, said: “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.”