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Skydive in memory of Newbury man with 'verve for life'

Event is a family's latest fundraisier for Daisy's Dream

Fiona Tomas

Fiona Tomas

fiona.tomas@newburynews.co.uk

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01635 886639

Family skydive in memory of Newbury man with 'verve for life'

A DETERMINED family from Wash Water have increased their fundraising total for a Berkshire-based charity after organising a skydive, which raised £12,600.

The Wilson family organised the event on Sunday, March 24, at Old Fareham Park in Salisbury for Daisy’s Dream, in honour of Paul Wilson.

The charity supports children and their families who have been affected by the life-threatening illness or bereavement of someone close to them.

Mr Wilson died, aged 41, in May 2017, after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a form of blood cancer, leaving his wife, Sarah, and four girls  – Poppy, then aged 10, Annabelle, nine, Holly, six, and Georgie, two.

Following Mr Wilson’s death, Daisy’s Dream provided invaluable support to the four girls, who all received in-school help from the charity and benefitted from one-to-one sessions with charity director Gill Stevens.

The group of skydivers ranged from all ages – including Mr Wilson’s father, Martin, who took the jump a day before turning 71, while 17-year-old Harry Kempster was the youngest.

Inspired by her late husband’s verve for life, Mr Wilson’s widow Sarah also decided to take the plunge – which involved jumping out of a plane at 15,000ft and freefalling for 60 seconds.

Mrs Wilson said: “I just thought, ‘You only live once’.

“Paul grabbed life with both hands and that’s one thing his death has taught me.

“It was a great day with a real sense of community spirit, which shows that Paul’s memory is still living.”

After the event, the skydivers were greeted with prosecco and cupcakes made by Mrs Wilson and her sister-in-law Lynne Stafford, as well as friends Katie Cameron and Leanne Essex.

The latest sky-diving fundraiser means the Wilson family have raised more than £60,000 for Daisy’s Dream in less than two years.

Annabelle raised £4,000 by taking part in a triathlon last May, before the family staged a ‘Ball for Paul’ at Donnington Valley Hotel a month later, which raised around £40,000 for the charity. 

Although the girls have had no input from the charity for a year, Mrs Wilson vowed to continue raising vital funds for the Berkshire-based service, which relies heavily on charitable donations, as it receives no government funding.

Mrs Wilson said: “Daisy’s Dream are always there at the end of the phone.

“If it was not for the charity, we would not be not be in such a great place without them.”

“My three-year-old is going to school in September and she’ll soon be aware that other children have daddies.”

The event was such a success that the family have already planned to take part in another sky dive on May 10 next year.

The Wilson family are also organising another ‘Ball for Paul’ on June 15, on what would have been Mr Wilson’s 44th birthday.

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