Boost for foodbank as Josh delivers the greatest show

Josh Higgison hands over the cash he raised with his musical performance to Lochaber Foodbank Manager, Alex McConachie. Photograph: Iain Ferguson,

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Fort William’s Josh Higgison may experience difficulties when it comes to learning but when expressing himself on the stage he’s absolutely A+.

On Friday, August 13, the 17-year-old handed over £120 to the Lochaber Foodbank after holding a 30-minute socially distanced show in his garden.

During lockdown Josh spent a lot of his time online listening to and watching all the music and dance videos that people were producing. That was where the idea of staging his own performance came from and preparations for The Greatest Show began.

Ideas for songs, costumes, creating the poster, location, raffle prizes and snacks were all his own, while the talented teenager also decided who was to be invited as the numbers were to be decided by Covid restrictions.

Support worker Elaine Malcolm was roped in as an extra and the pair set about rehearsing, firstly online and then as restrictions eased they would go through the set while out walking.

The show consisted of three songs (The Greatest Showman, Amazing Grace and Take Me Home Country Roads), a march to Scottish pipe music and a sword dance. Audience participation was also encouraged in the Macarena dance.

‘Josh loves to perform and is keen to take part in all kinds of activities where he can make people happy and laugh,’ said gran Ruth.

‘Elaine has been fantastic and has encouraged him every step of the way. Josh said he really enjoyed performing with an audience and that was clear from his enjoyment
when doing this.

‘The idea of raising money for the foodbank came when he and Elaine were planning the show. He was watching the news about how Covid was affecting people in the
community and said he wanted to help.’

Josh attends Glencoe House, Lochaber High School and the UHI college Fort William, and has recently secured employment as a litter picker at the Ben Nevis Visitor Centre.

Josh displays his marching skills during the show.

His main passion is music of all kinds but his favourite is Scottish pipe band music. Before Covid he started teaching himself how to play the drums through watching YouTube videos before taking drumming lessons. The innovative youngster also taught himself to throw the mace when marching and listening to pipe band music on his earphones.

A keen member of the Duncansburgh and McIntosh Boys Brigade Josh, with the
support of the captain and officers, has obtained his Queens Badge and is currently taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Gold award, having previously earned his
Silver and Bronze.

Josh is supported by Reach4Reality, a charity that works with children who need support in the community. He has also learned canoeing and camping.