A GOLD medal performer has dived in to help a local cancer charity.
Paralympic swimming champion Josef Craig has become a patron of Cancer Connections, in Harton Lane, South Shields.
The 15-year-old saw at first-hand the support which staff at the charity give people with cancer when his uncle, John Anderson, was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2010.
After that, he set his sights on supporting the charity.
Josef, who suffers from cerebral palsy, had his desire to help reignited earlier this year, when Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall was made a patron.
Josef made headlines during the Paralympic Games in London when he smashed the men’s S7 400m Freestyle world record twice on his way to gold.
He has since also broken the short-course world record.
In recognition of his achievements, directors at the charity decided the St Joseph RC Comprehensive School pupil is just the kind of supporter they need.
At the charity’s recent fundraiser at Hedworth Hall in South Shields, Josef was invited on stage to accept an invitation to become a patron.
The teenager, from Swinbourne Terrace, Jarrow, was very close to his uncle, affectionately known as ‘Andy’, who died from cancer at the age of 50 in February, before the teenager had the chance to tell him he had made the Paralympic Games.
Josef said: “It is a great honour to be a patron of Cancer Connections.
“I have always wanted to have this position within the charity since I started helping.
“The charity is so close to the family and I want to be able to give as much back as I can for all their help they gave me after my uncle Andy was diagnosed.”