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Cancer survivor launches charity for young people left out of education due to ill health

PUBLISHED: 15:10 06 April 2017 | UPDATED: 16:32 11 April 2017

Joshua Pelled founded Bright Futures with his friend Nathalie Holt.

Joshua Pelled founded Bright Futures with his friend Nathalie Holt.

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A Temple Fortune business student who beat cancer twice is offering mentoring and support for people who have been forced to drop out of education and work because of mental and physical illnesses.

Joshua Pelled, 22, from Temple Fortune, founded the charity Bright Futures UK with his friend Nathalie Holt.

It aims to help young people who are forced to drop out of education because of poor health by offering mentoring, tutoring and workshops for people with mental and physical illnesses.

Joshua had cancer twice, when he was five and when he was 16, which meant he had to take a year out from education for chemotherapy and radiotherapy, first from Golders Hill School and then Jewish Free School (JFS).

He described how he would have benefited from its support when he was diagnosed with Wilms Tumour when he was five and then osteosarcoma when he was 16, just as he was about to take his GCSE exams.

He said: “Socially it’s difficult, you’re pulled out, no one really knows what’s going on. It’s difficult to explain it, there’s no one who you can just sit down and talk to about it.”

While JFS were very supportive and his friends and family “went beyond anything you’d ever expect from anyone”, Joshua said he would have really benefitted from meeting other people experiencing similar things.

“You need the support of someone who knows what you’re going through,” he said.

Bright Futures UK offers one-to-one mentoring, tutoring and various types of workshops, including photography, CV writing and business lessons, as well as simply giving people the opportunity to meet other people who are going through similar problems.

He said: “Mentoring or tutoring would have been invaluable because it would have meant that I could have kept up with my first year of A-Level studies. I would have loved to have met people in the same situation as me.”

Joshua is taking a year out from his Business degree at Nottingham Trent University, so he can concentrate on launching the charity.

The charity is looking for new volunteers and mentors and encourages anyone who wants to benefit to get in touch.

To find out more about the charity and get involved, visit brightfuturesuk.org

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