Great Blakenham/ Ipswich: Teenager Josh Plume has something to shout about after completing a 40-day sponsored silence in aid of the National Association for Colitis and Crohn’s

GREAT BLAKENHAM: According to the Victorian ideal, children should be seen and not heard – and it’s a motto which one Suffolk teenager has stuck to for 40 days.

Josh Plume embarked on a sponsored silence last month to raise funds for research into Crohn’s disease – an inflammatory disease of the intestines – which he was diagnosed with in March last year.

The 18-year-old spent the duration of his vow of silence with a whiteboard and a marker pen which he used to communicate with friends and family.

The Northgate Sixth Form student, who started his challenge on March 5, hopes his efforts will raise awareness of his condition.

Josh has raised more than �400, all of which will go to the National Association for Colitis and Crohn’s.

He admitted the task of remaining tight-lipped had been tough. “At the beginning, there were times that I would forget and someone would call my name and my instincts wanted me to respond,” Josh said.

“Eventually I got used to it and I guess that I almost got into a routine. I still can’t believe that I did it, it is great to know that I have raised money for a charity which supports people with my condition. I’m really pleased to have raised money for something which is close to my heart.

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“I know that this money will go towards helping other people and that is a really nice feeling.”

After keeping quiet for 40 days, Josh said he couldn’t remember what his first words were after completing the challenge.

“I just woke up and was in a bit of a daze, but now I’m just ringing people for a chat – because I can.”

The teenager, who lives in Great Blakenham, had to retake his final year at Northgate because he was in and out of hospital, but is now finishing his studies.

He hopes to be able to get the grades to read politics and international relations at the University of the West of England in Bristol.

Josh said: “Northgate have been helpful, understanding and let me retake the year hassle-free.”

If you wish to sponsor Josh, visit www.justgiving.com/Silence-XD

n Have you completed a fundraising challenge with a difference? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletter@eveningstar.co.uk

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