Family of Orwell grandfather take on charity skydive in his memory

PUBLISHED: 10:14 06 September 2018 | UPDATED: 10:14 06 September 2018

Jess Hamilton jumping out of a plane for the British Heart Foundation. Picture: British Heart Foundation. Picture: British Heart Foundation

Jess Hamilton jumping out of a plane for the British Heart Foundation. Picture: British Heart Foundation. Picture: British Heart Foundation

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The family of a “young at heart” Orwell grandfather have taken on a skydive in his memory – as jumping out of a plane was something he always wanted to do.

Norman Hamilton's family completed a 10,000-feet skydive in memory of their beloved dad and grandfather from Orwell. Picture: British Heart Foundation Norman Hamilton's family completed a 10,000-feet skydive in memory of their beloved dad and grandfather from Orwell. Picture: British Heart Foundation

Norman Hamilton died of a sudden heart attack last October – the 75-year-old was still very active and adventurous but he never got the chance to do a skydive.

Norman’s son, daughter and his two grandchildren have marked what would have been his 76th birthday by plunging 10,000 feet for charity.

The skydivers were supported by their wider family and friends on the day, including Norman’s wife Julie, as they faced their fears and undertook the dive at the drop site in Peterborough.

They have raised £3,319 to date for the British Heart Foundation’s life-saving research.

Jo Walker jumping out of a plane for the British Heart Foundation. Picture: British Heart FoundationPicture: British Heart FoundationJo Walker jumping out of a plane for the British Heart Foundation. Picture: British Heart FoundationPicture: British Heart Foundation

Norman was a long-time supporter of the BHF, after experiencing heart problems throughout his life – and the family’s connection to the charity became even stronger over the last year.

Norman’s son Tony’s partner Vanessa had a heart attack last Christmas. She thankfully survived and the couple have been making efforts to improve their health and fitness ever since.

Tony was originally too heavy to do the skydive when his daughter Jess first had the idea but, after losing more than five and-a-half stone since his father’s death almost a year ago, he was able to join the rest of the family on the special day.

Norman’s daughter Jo Walker – who lives in Guilden Morden – said: “It was my niece’s idea to pay tribute to dad in this way. I was absolutely terrified but it was nice to be able to come together and do something that would have made him so proud.

Tony Hamilton jumping out of a plane for the British Heart Foundation. Picture: British Heart FoundationTony Hamilton jumping out of a plane for the British Heart Foundation. Picture: British Heart Foundation

“Dad was incredibly close to my son Michael and niece Jess – they would spend summer holidays over in Spain visiting their grandparents and completely adored them.

“It’s hard to believe that he’s gone, but we have amazing memories and we’re proud to be fundraising for such an important charity like the British Heart Foundation – one that dad was a big supporter of.”

Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/norman-hamilton to support the family’s fundraising for the BHF or if you’re interested in becoming a BHF Heart Flyer visit www.bhf.org.uk/skydive for more information.

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