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Nathan puts his best foot forward for his Grandad


Nathan with his beloved grandad Jim Francis

Nathan with his beloved grandad Jim Francis

Nathan with his beloved grandad Jim Francis

The 12-year-old grandson of a man who died in a house fire in Carrowdore recently is set to complete a unique challenge for his grandad.

Nathan Holland, who lives in Warrington, England, is aiming to complete a gruelling Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge this August.

Not content with walking the normal challenge however, Nathan will endeavour to complete the route twice in a 24-hour period, walking through the night, completing approximately 52 miles, over 10,000 feet, and six peaks to complete a very personal challenge.

His walk will be used to raise money for the British Red Cross’ Fire & Emergency Support Service (FESS), which provided support to Nathan’s family when his grandfather, Jim Francis, died in the house fire in May.

Nathan’s Mum Julie explained what the walk will mean to her son: “Nathan and Dad were very close. He told me that it was an |honour to do the walk for him.

“The Belfast Red Cross FESS volunteers were an enormous help to our family in the early hours of that morning, offering my brother and other family members shelter and privacy at a very distressing time.

“Nathan wants to give something back, and hopes to raise £3,000 in memory of Dad and on behalf of the extended family. Dad is missed by so many; he was an active member of Carrowdore Presbyterian Church and the wider community. We were so proud of him when at least 700 attended his funeral.

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“He always put others before himself and adored his five grandsons, loving to tell people of their achievements. I know he would be so pleased that Nathan and the family are fundraising to help those who helped us.”

Nathan is already an accomplished walker and has been walking the three peaks since he was nine. Last year he was the first child to complete the route twice in 48 hours.

Anyone wishing to support Nathan’s fundraising challenge can do so online by visiting |his sponsorship web page www.justgiving.com/nathanswalkforgranda.

The British Red Cross has formed a new Newtownards-based first aid group which will commence weekly meetings and training on Tuesday evenings from 7.30pm-9.30pm from September. Contact Jemma Brewster on 9073 5376 for more information.

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