'Amazing' six-year-old Chester boy completes 13k cycle ride for Grenfell Tower families


David Triggs

A schoolboy raising funds for families affected by the Grenfell Tower blaze ended up riding for twice as long as planned on a sponsored cycle challenge.

Joshua Ellis-McConville, six, had intended to ride with his mum Stephanie Ellis along a 10k route from his home in Handbridge to Chester Fire Station on Sunday.

He had the idea after seeing news coverage of the fire, and wanted to do something to help the children who had lost all their toys.

But a ‘miscalculation’ by Stephanie saw the pair ride 13k to the fire station – and after deciding they would also have to bike it home, they ended up clocking 20k.

Joshua Ellis-McConville, six, with his mum Stephanie Ellis

It all turned out to be worth it, as Joshua’s challenge raised an incredible £1,175 for The Dispossessed Fund, set up by the London Evening Standard in the wake of the June 14 tower block fire.

Stephanie said: “I am amazed at Josh’s energy and determination and I feel incredibly proud that this little boy is my son. Joshua was amazing and he just kept going.” 

Although the ride was for a serious cause, the pair still had plenty of fun along the way.

Joshua happily waved at cars on the nearby A55 and at tourists on boats cruising the River Dee, before stopping off for an impromptu ice cream break in Grosvenor Park.

When he got to the fire station, he was given a tour by members of Chester’s Green Watch.

“They couldn’t have done enough for Joshua, showing him around the station letting him explore all the different fire engines and showing him the equipment,” said Stephanie. “They were very grateful for the cereal bars and sweets that Joshua had bought for them!” 

Stephanie and Joshua – who attends Mill View Primary School in Upton – were out for about five hours in total.

Stephanie said that several children had donated their pocket money to Joshua’s JustGiving fund, adding: “It really does give so much hope that not only Joshua has had this idea and completed this fantastic challenge, but it’s compelled so many people to give and show their love and support to the victims of Grenfell Towers as well.” 

The fire which ripped through the high-rise block in west London earlier this month claimed the lives of 79 people, with the final death toll expected to rise further. The Dispossessed Fund is being run on behalf of Grenfell Tower residents by the London Community Foundation.

Donations can still be made to Joshua’s JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/joshuas10k

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