Mum to skydive for son who was killed by unlicensed driver in Orpington hit and run
A mum whose son who was killed in hit and run by an unlicensed elderly driver in Orpington is braving a skydive to raise money for charity that she launched in his memory.
11-year-old Josh Osborne died after he was hit by a Ford Fiesta whilst crossing Court Road in April 2019.
Following a weeklong trial at Woolwich Crown Court, David Lockyer, 75, was convicted by a jury of causing death by careless driving and causing death while driving a motor vehicle whilst unlicensed.
Lockyer had also been drinking when he hit Josh and then tried to flee the scene.
Josh died two days later at The Royal London Hospital and Lockyer was subsequently jailed for two years.
Josh’s mum, Victoria Battman, 39, launched the Joshy’s Heart of Gold charity following his death to support other families going through similar situations where a loved one had died or been seriously injured – particularly if the victim is young.
To mark Josh’s 15th birthday on January 12, she launched a fundraiser and decided to take part in a skydive to raise funds for the charity which will take place on March 25.
You can view the fundraiser and support Victoria here.
Victoria told the News Shopper: “We started the charity because of our own experience.
“After Josh we were given a bag of books, phone numbers for bereavement services - and most of those we would call up and it would be really traumatic to explain to them what has happened and what you had been through each time to then be added to a waiting list for support.
“We found ourselves left to deal with our grief alone.
“Putting my focus into the charity helped so much and I don’t know what I would have done without it.
“The whole reason the charity is called Joshy’s Heart of Gold is because he had a heart of gold – he was so kind, caring and loving.
“He was very athletic and into lots of sports – he loved boxing and running as well as gaming.”
She explained that the waiting lists for counselling were long, especially for Bromley CAHMs which was two and a half years for the initial assessment phone call and then it would be years later that the therapy began.
She added that she had spoken to many other families who did not feel well supported following their loved one’s death.
Joshy’s Heart of Gold charity has made some good process towards improving bereavement support at the Royal London Hospital such as helping to fund a family room which aims to be a quiet comfortable space attached to the children's intensive care ward where their family to stay during their child's at the hospital.
There is now also a bereavement support nurse at the hospital thanks to support from the charity.
Between January and February 2023, the charity has supported eight families at the hospital with help towards the cost of accommodation, travel and food – which are sometimes costs that are not first anticipated when a child is in hospital.
Joshy’s Heart of Gold charity is also hoping to build more resources into their telephone support line in the near future.
Victoria praised The Royal London Hospital for their kindness during Joshes time in hospital.
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She added: “They were very caring when we were there and since then have been amazing and support all of the events that we hold for the charity.”
She is “excited” about upcoming the skydive but also “very nervous” as she had not “done anything quite like it before”.
She added: “I hope Josh is proud of it.”
There will also be a family fun run at Westcombe RFC on Saturday April 14 to mark Josh’s four-year death anniversary.
The Mayor of Bromley and local MPS will be attending along with the London Air Ambulance, Made In Kent Radio, K2K Performing Arts, Cake stand, ice cream van and various stalls.
You find out more about the charity and buy tickets for the fun run on the Joshy’s Heart of Gold website.