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Collier Row boy raises money for charity and makes it to regional singing finals

Josh Gleaves, aged 12, raised around £380 for Saint Francis Hospice by busking. Josh Gleaves, aged 12, raised around £380 for Saint Francis Hospice by busking.

Thursday, March 6, 2014
2:41 PM

During the day, he is like every other school boy, but once he leaves the classroom, he is raising money for charity and competing in nationwide singing competitions.

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Josh Gleaves, 12, of Collier Row, has been singing and playing guitar for over a year, busking on the streets of Romford in his spare time but last week he donated his earnings from the session to the Romford branch of Saint Francis Hospice, to help towards paying for the repairs to the charity’s roof.

Josh said: “I love to perform and really enjoy entertaining people whenever I can.”

With the help of friend, Tom Vincent, who was in charge of the money bucket, the pair raised £368 in three hours.

Josh said: “My mum used to work there as a nurse and I just realised how traumatic it was for some families and so I called up and asked if I could do some fundraising.”

Community fundraising manager, Lynda Head, said: “I found it was quite unbelievable and it’s always lovely seeing young people wanting to help and he has just gone a step beyond that, raising so much money for our roof appeal.”

But when he is not preparing to raise money for charity, Josh is entering singing competitions, making it to the semi-finals of Open Mic UK last year and has now won himself a place in the regional finals of Teenstar.

Josh said: “I am very excited for the final and just cannot wait to get back up on stage.

Judges’ feedback to the 12-year-old rockstar was that he gave a “very confident performance” but that he should “work on the pulse of your performance as you sped up and slowed down on a few occasions.”

Head of Future Music, Chris Grayston, said: ‘We are really excited about TeenStar 2014, there’s no other competition out there like it and we are eager to discover the country’s freshest young talent’.

Josh will perform his audition song, Run by Snow Patrol, once more at the regional finals that will take place on March 16 at the Palace Theatre in Southend.

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