A schoolboy who the Helston community took to their hearts as he learnt to walk has “exceeded expectations” in his progress.

Last year the Packet launched the Footprints campaign for Josh Mills, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 12 months old, leaving him unable to stand or walk unaided.

At the beginning of February Josh travelled with his family to Bristol’s Frenchay Hospital for a pioneering operation to remove the tight muscle tone preventing him from walking properly.

Since then he has been receiving intensive – and expensive – physiotherapy, funded by the local community.

The Packet is now able to update readers that Josh is making huge progress, with doctors telling the family the eight-year-old St Michael’s Primary pupil had “smashed all the goals” they put in place for him and exceeded their expectations so far.

Josh can now walk indoors with his tripod sticks and was working “really hard,” said his mum Jo.

His balance and strength is improving all the time, but it is also the little things that indicate such a big difference – he can now kneel up on his own, which he was unable to before, and he has begun supporting his two legs.

Josh still receives three private physiotherapy sessions a week, with a fourth paid for by the NHS.

“Without people’s help towards the fundraising for the private physio he wouldn’t be at the stage he is now,” added Jo.

He has been able to take part in activities his family never thought would possible, such as a special surf workshop and horse riding.

“He’s become a lot more confident. He wouldn’t have done that before,” said Jo.

Fundraising continues, however, in order to carry on the physiotherapy sessions that are making such a difference.

On Saturday next week, October 5, a joint charity evening will be held at Culdrose Community Centre raising money for Josh and baby Connor Campbell, who is seriously visually impaired and whose family hopes to raise money for sensory toys and equipment.