North Rockhampton Special School staff help student Justin Svendsen ride the new bike.
North Rockhampton Special School staff help student Justin Svendsen ride the new bike. Allan Reinikka ROK021216anrssbik

Giving is gift enough for this local man

THE North Rockhampton special school holds a special place in Josh Ryan's heart, which is why the local decided to donate his birthday to the school this year.

Josh doesn't look forward to his birthday as it carries sombre memories, but in the last two years this Rocky local has found a way to make the most of his big day.

For the past two years, Josh has decided to donate his birthday to a worthy cause so in lieu of receiving presents he has asked for donations.

This year Josh chose to fundraise money to purchase an adaptable bicycle for the students at the special school.

Yesterday the students had the chance to thank Josh for the bicycle which has already been in high demand.

"They received it on the Monday and on the Wednesday they went to a triathlon for one of the students, Justin where he rode the bike,” Josh said.

"The reactions are great, the kids seem to enjoy it... it will help many kids for years to come.”

Josh was so passionate about donating the bike as his sister spent many years at the school right up until she passed.

"I decided to get into the birthday pledge idea because before my first pledge (last year) I hated my birthday because the day after my birthday my sister passed away," Josh said.

"There's a memorial garden at the front of the school dedicated to my sister so every time I pass here it's something special,” he said.

Deputy Principal Sam Dennis said the $2000 bicycle was a godsend.

"The students have loved it, $2000 is a lot of money in a small schools budget, we often look for other funding sources for extra things like the bike so it's been great to have this money donated,” she said.

"For the students it just means they can participate like all the other kids.”

Josh said he couldn't have done it without all of the help from everyone who donated to the cause.

"To everyone who was able to donate and share the link I thank you, from the bottom of my heart," he said.



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