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Kidderminster fundraiser carries Paralympic flame
A SELFLESS Wyre Forest student who volunteered to work with young people in Africa has carried the Paralympic flame in London.
Josh Bentley, 22, who lives in Kidderminster, was one of 620 torch bearers involved in the week-long torch relay.
After the flame was ignited at the highest points in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, the torches lit four cauldrons in each of the UK’s capital cities before embarking on a 24-hour relay from Stoke Mandeville to the Olympic Park.
The Birmingham City University accountancy student carried the torch yesterday in Westminster as the flame made its way to the Olympic Stadium for the Games’ opening ceremony.
He was nominated for the honour by his mother Janet Marshall in recognition of his volunteer work in Ghana last year, when he took four suitcases of donated items, including some from Shuttle readers.
His trip included teaching children in the city of Kwahu, where he also visited an orphanage. Mr Bentley said he did not know he had been entered to be a torch bearer until he was selected.
“I was just amazed and really surprised when I found out and I couldn’t believe I had been chosen,” he explained.
Mr Bentley’s family and partner were due to travel to London to watch his run, which took place next to Regents Park.
“I will, hopefully, try and get some tickets to watch one of the events,” he added. “I think it is something brilliant to be a part of.”
Mr Bentley, who is currently on a finance placement at Worcester’s Parkwood Leisure, will bring the torch back to Kidderminster, where it will be on display in Sainsbury’s, Carpet Trades Way, throughout the Games, which close on Sunday, September 9.
Store manager Kevin Healy said: “It is absolutely fitting that Josh represented Sainsbury’s and Kidderminster. Josh is very well known locally for his voluntary work and fund-raising and we were honoured to be supporting him.”