Cerebral palsy sufferer in two-day boxing challenge for Pendleside Hospice

A 20-year-old cerebral palsy sufferer – whose hero is Tyson Fury – is to take on a two-day boxing challenge to raise money for the Pendleside Hospice’s ‘Keep Our Hospice Open’ campaign.

Wednesday, 6th May 2020, 12:30 pm

Joe Skinner is to box 100 rounds with a punchbag from his wheelchair in his bedroom at his home in Victoria Road, Padiham, over May 20th and 21st. The challenge will be streamed live on Facebook.

Already Joe has raised about £4,500 on his JustGiving page having set himself an initial £1,000 target.

He said: “I am doing the challenge in memory of my former teacher Mick Ennis at Blessed Trinity RC College in Burnley and to raise money for a fantastic hospice that gave Mick great care before he passed away in 2014.

Joe Skinner

“He was like a dad to me. I still think about him every day.

“After his death I suffered mental depression for quite some time and knew I had to turn things around myself. I am a boxing fan and it was Tyson Fury who gave me the inspiration to overcome my own troubles.

“I enjoyed watching him beat Wladimir Klitschko to become world champion but then he went downhill mentally. But when he returned and drew with Deontay Wilder, he said anyone with mental problems can come back. And I have followed his journey to where he is now and it has given me the strength to overcome my issues.

“I have tried to contact him via Twitter because I would love him to know my story and how he has helped me. And I would love him to do a short video to give me support through the challenge. If anyone has any contact with him I would ask you to please let him know what I am doing. It’s for such an excellent cause.”

In Joe’s corner during the challenge providing refreshments and encouragement will be his mum Bernadette, who herself has suffered cancer, and 16-year-old sister Katie.

The challenge will see Joe boxing 100 rounds over two days. Every 10 rounds will last 30 minutes. He will box for 30 seconds on and then 10 seconds off.

He said: “Fitness is a massive part of my day these days. It helps me to manage both my physical and mental health issues really well.

“I would like as many people as possible to like and share my JustGiving and Facebook pages and make a small donation if they are able to. I want to raise as much as I can for Pendleside and it would be great if they could use it for PPE during the Covid-19 crisis.

“I’m not sure if people know, but Pendleside is playing a huge role during the Covid-19 crisis by taking pressure off the NHS locally. They have almost doubled the number of bedrooms at the hospice to take extra palliative care referrals from the NHS.”

It’s not the first time Joe has made the headlines.

In 2014 Burnley striker Danny Ings gave him his boots after a game and the photograph went viral. The two are still friends today and the moment spurred Danny into setting up his disability sport project which is now the Burnley FC In The Community disability sports project.

Joe is a coach on the project and next year attends the UCFB multi-media sports journalism course at The Etihad Stadium. His ambition is to become a sports commentator.