Singer Josh brings home cash for children’s hospice

A TALENTED teenager from Bolton sang his way to success — and £500 for charity.

Josh Taylor, aged 14, of Silver Birch Close, Lostock, impressed judges at the Furness Building Society’s Charity Challenge and landed third place.

The event gives singers, dancers and performers the chance to shine and win a share of £3,000 for their chosen charity.

A total of 14 acts from across the North West were selected to take part in Saturday night’s final at the Lancaster Grand Theatre.

Josh gave a powerful rendition of Bring Him Home, from hit musical Les Miserables, and scooped £500 for Derian House Children’s Hospice in Chorley.

The Rivington and Blackrod High School pupil, who has been singing for five years, said: “It is hard to imagine how painful it must be caring for children who are so seriously ill and how hard it must be for the families, but Derian House really helps them to deal with it brilliantly.”

The youngster, who is set to release an album in the coming months, added: “I was a bit nervous at the beginning, but it was a really good night.

“It was a really good theatre. It’s just a great experience to perform somewhere like that.

“And coming third and winning the money for charity was great.” Folk trio Bosun’s Call, led by Keith Bateson who lives in Winchester Way, Breightmet, also performed in the final.

The band narrowly missed out on a spot in the top three, but won £100 for the charity Whizz Kidz by making it through to the final.

Keith said: “We really enjoyed performing in the charity challenge on behalf of Whizz Kidz — which provides special wheelchairs for disabled children. We all had a great time.”

The winner of the competition was Rebecca Duckworth, aged 18, from Preston, who is studying music and drama at the University of Central Lancashire and collected £1,000 on behalf of St Catherine’s Hospice in Preston.

The other big cash prize of £750 went to drumming group Boom Dang, playing on behalf of the Boom Dang Foundation based in South Cumbria, which works in communities to introduce young people to music and performing in a variety of drumming styles.

Martin Cutbill, Furness Building Society director of sales and marketing, who led the judging panel, said: “There were many wonderful charities represented in the final.

“We hope that the event has helped to raise awareness of the outstanding work they do, much of it relying on the support of unpaid volunteers and tireless fund raisers.

“Last year the Furness gave more than £360,000 to charity partners and in 2013 we want to give away even more.”

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