Age no barrier to skydiving Nancy

A daredevil grandmother will reach for the skies after thinking up the ‘silliest’ fundraising challenge she could.

Nancy Rutherford has decided to do an assisted parachute jump next month to raise money for St Oswald’s Hospice.

The 81-year-old decided the time was right to do something with her life after her husband died three years ago.

And the mother of three, and grandmother of six, is hoping to raise £1,500 after being flooded with donations – smashing her initial target of £500.

Nancy, of Whitley Bay, said: “My husband died nearly three years ago and I haven’t done an awful lot since.

“I thought what is the silliest thing I could do, and this is what I came up with.

“I’m scared of heights, I only remembered that after agreeing to do it. That is the type of person I am.

“This will be the first, and last, time I will do a skydive.

“I’ve been gliding when I was in the WRENS when I was younger and enjoyed that but between bringing up three children I haven’t done an awful lot that is exciting.

“I’m looking forward to it. I haven’t thought about changing my mind, I’m not frightening by it.”

The courageous pensioner has so far raised more than £1,000 for St Oswald’s Hospice, who she volunteered for at their shop in Whitley Bay.

Nancy said: “I thought I would raise £500 just through family and friends then my youngest daughter set up a Just Giving page and it has all taken off. It was a big surprise.”

She will be joined at the jump at Shotton airfield, in County Durham, on April 6, by all her family.

And Nancy is also being supported by The Monkseaton Arms, where her granddaughter Laura Swan works. The pub has created a real ale called ‘Supergran’ with 10p from every pint going to the hospice.

Nancy said: “I’m going to go to The Monkseaton Arms before my skydive to thank them personally for their support and generosity.”

Anyone who wants to sponsor Nancy can do so via