Super gran ticks off a life challenge

Nancy Rutherford from Whitley Bay with her family before her skydive for St Oswald's Hospice.
Nancy Rutherford from Whitley Bay with her family before her skydive for St Oswald's Hospice.

A grandmother took a leap of faith as she ticked one challenge off her life list – and she raised more than £5,000 in the process.

Daredevil Nancy Rutherford took part in a sponsored tandem skydive this week in aid of St Oswald’s Hospice.

The grandmother of six wanted to take part in the challenge before she turns 82 later this year.

Nancy said: “I had this daft idea of wanting to do something big before I turned 82 and it all started from there.

“I’ve never done anything so foolish, I am very scared of heights; I can’t even go up escalators at the Haymarket Metro station, but I just thought why not.

“The jump went absolutely beautifully. If they asked me to sign on the dotted line, I’d do it all over again.

“Dave, my tandem, was marvellous and made sure I wasn’t frightened at all.

“I decided to support St Oswald’s as it’s a local charity and a good cause close to my heart. I also worked in the Whitley Bay shop around six years ago.”

She added: “I’ve been so overwhelmed with all of the attention I’ve received.

“My original aim was to raise £500, but my daughter set up a Just Giving and the donations just kept coming in – I’ve now raised around £5,000 with more donations still coming in.

“I have six grandchildren who were very shocked when I first told them about the Skydive, but they’ve been so supportive.

“Family from West Sussex and Southport travelled to see me jump and I’ve also received backing from the Monkseaton Arms, my local pub. They’ve been fantastic.”

Amy Slater, fundraiser at St Oswald’s, said: “We were thrilled to hear that Nancy wanted to do a skydive in support of the Hospice, it’s absolutely fantastic.

“She’s very brave for facing her fear of heights, it’s not a challenge that many people would want to do.

“We think it’s brilliant that she’s decided to tick it off her life list. She did brilliantly, and we were so proud to have been there to cheer her on.”

Anyone wanting to donate towards Nancy’s fundraising efforts can do so via