'My love for my boy inspires me to conquer,' Runcorn mum follows her son's footsteps

Runcorn and Widnes World: Jayne Furber Jayne Furber

AN engineering student’s zest for life has inspired his mum to follow in his footsteps on a poignant pilgrimage.

Jayne Furber is visiting the beauty spot in Australia where her 20-year-old son died.

Josh from Beechwood, Runcorn, was on a gap year walking with friends at a World Heritage site near Sydney when he lost his footing and fell 300ft over the edge of Wentworth Falls.

Weeks earlier, former Heath pupil Josh posted on Facebook: ‘This is the best experience of my life and I can honestly say I am living my dreams’.

Jayne, aged 47, said: “I can’t do anything about this terrible thing and the way I feel inside, but I want to experience and understand what it was that completely absorbed and captivated him.

“This is a fantastic once in a lifetime opportunity to do something positive and acknowledge the amazing efforts of the crews involved in Josh’s rescue.”

She is launching a memorial fund to support conservation work at the Blue Mountains, now recovering from devastating bush fires.

Jayne said: “This is where Josh spent his last few happy hours. It was so very precious.

“I decided I am going to do a skydive. Josh did a skydive in Sydney with his best friend, Josh Haworth. I thought what a wonderful and poignant opportunity as a mum to experience what he did.

“The only thing that will be a bit scary is being on the plane with the door open.

“But his grandad, my late dad, Peter Broad, who was in the parachute regiment, would be thrilled.”

Jayne and her family have commissioned a bench made from recycled materials in Josh’s memory at a picnic spot. They will see it for the first time on January 6, the first anniversary of his death.

Josh’s sister, Beth, aged 19, and his uncle, Lee Bellfield are also climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge to raise funds.

Jayne added: “This has been a difficult journey. We have stumbled, climbed, crawled and dragged ourselves through this feeling of devastation.

“But my love for my boy inspires me to conquer.

“Josh was endearing and affectionate. He was very sensitive and people warmed to him. He was a very loyal and dedicated friend.

“So many people have told me that he was like a brother to them. He had a profound effect on loads of people.

“He has got such a wonderful network of friends all over the world.

“He should have been going to Brazil for the World Cup.

“It’s hard when you lose somebody so young.

“He’s still with us. We live with him in a different kind of way.

“I hope this pilgrimage will help to give us some sense of closure.

“People’s kindness has been incredible. We have received so many heartwarming comments.

“This serves as a timely reminder to think about the people around you we take for granted.

“We always told each other we loved each other.”

Jayne is flying to Australia with her husband, Mark, aged 48, her daughter, Beth, aged 19, Josh’s grandparents Sandra and Kenny Bellfield, and his uncle, Lee Bellfield.

To support Jayne, visit http://www.joshfurbermemorialfund.co.uk

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