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Dad and Adventurer Pulls Rocking Horse Across Antarctica for Charity


In an inspiring journey that blended family legacy with charitable endeavor, Josh Braid of Hurstpierpoint embarked on a remarkable expedition to the South Pole in December, following in the footsteps of his great uncle who made a similar voyage in 1961. Braid’s adventure aimed to climb Mount Vinson, Antarctica’s highest peak at 4,892 meters, and then undertake a unique challenge of pulling a specially made rocking horse across the final degree to the pole, all in the name of raising funds for the Rockinghorse Children’s Charity and Kidscape.

Departing the UK on December 12, Braid’s mission was not only a nod to his familial ties but also a gesture of gratitude and support towards two causes close to his heart. The motivation for this ambitious challenge was deeply personal. In 2022, the arrival of twin boys, one of whom required special care and the other an operation, introduced Braid and his wife to the invaluable support provided by Rockinghorse at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton. Additionally, Braid, a victim of bullying in his school years, chose to support Kidscape, reflecting his journey towards healing and empowerment.

Sponsored by Knight Frank, Dynamic Climate, and London Metric, Braid’s expedition began with his arrival in Chile on December 15, followed by a scenic four-hour flight over Drake’s Passage to Union Glacier, Antarctica. Braid was immediately struck by the otherworldly beauty of the continent, describing his first impressions as akin to landing on another planet.

The ascent of Mount Vinson commenced after reaching the Ellsworth mountain range via a 40-minute flight from Union Glacier. Overcoming severe altitude sickness and braving temperatures of -38 degrees Celsius, Braid and his team reached the summit on Christmas Eve, a moment he described as standing on another planet, isolated yet surrounded by the majestic tranquility of Antarctica’s icy landscape.

Following the successful climb, the team set their sights on the South Pole, skiing and dragging the Rockinghorse branded rocking horse across the icy terrain. Their journey, marked by determination and the spirit of adventure, culminated in reaching the South Pole, where Braid experienced the profound satisfaction of achieving a dream inspired by his great uncle’s legacy. This momentous occasion was not just a personal milestone for Braid but also a significant contribution to the charities he aimed to support, bringing attention and resources to causes that make a difference in the lives of children and those affected by bullying.

Emma Cunliffe, Supporter Engagement Manager at Rockinghorse ­­­said, ‘Josh’s adventure sounds like such an amazing experience. He’s been able to see parts of the world that most of us will never get the chance to see and raising money for charity whilst he’s at it. “We are so thankful to Josh for all this continued support, and we can’t wait to see what he gets up to next!”

Paula Timms, Kidscape CEO, said, “All of us at Kidscape are in awe of Josh Braid’s amazing endeavour, not least the dedication and commitment of his family and supporters who have helped prepare for, train for and then complete the expedition to the South Pole. We are delighted that Josh has been able to realise his dream of following in his uncle’s footsteps, and it has been a delight to follow his journey with the power of social media.

“Josh has shared his experience of bullying as a child, which many children struggle with on a day-to-day basis. To be able to show children and young people that you can overcome life’s challenges and go on to conquer your dreams will provide such inspiration for many who need to see positive outcomes and role models. Josh is our hero at Kidscape, and we are incredibly honoured that he has chosen to fundraise and raise awareness of our work at Kidscape, helping to keep more children safe from bullying and harm.”

Now that Josh is back home, he hopes to continue his fundraising, even planning to auction off Rocky the rocking horse to the highest bidder. To make a donation, head over to his charity donation platform link Givestar here to help support these two charities and help Josh reach his fundraising goal.

To find out more about Rockinghorse, take a look at their website at www.rockinghorse.org.uk and for more information on Kidscape, just visit www.kidscape.org.uk.

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