Son takes on sky dive in memory of dad

Paul Bell doing his skydive
Paul Bell doing his skydive
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THE sky was the limit for a brave Wearside fundraiser who took part in a dive for charity.

Paul Bell was just 11 when his dad, Bob Johnson, died of cancer and he wanted to do something in memory of him.

Charity skydiver Paul Bell with his certificate. Picture by FRANK REID

Charity skydiver Paul Bell with his certificate. Picture by FRANK REID

Now 30, he decided to do a sponsored sky dive and raise money for St Benedict’s Hospice in Sunderland, where his ex-miner dad, from Seaham, was cared for before he died aged just 53.

Paul, a delivery driver, said: “It was a very difficult time for me, but the staff there do such a fantastic job.

“They do some really great work and I just felt I wanted to give something back to them and to do something in memory of my dad.”

Paul, who lives in Grangetown, Sunderland, is still collecting in all of his sponsorship money, but hopes to have raised at least £500 for the Ryhope-based hospice through his jump.

He said taking part in the tandem jump, from 15,000ft above Shotton Air Field, was a fantastic experience.

Paul, who is dad to seven-year-old Angel, said: “It was the first time I had done anything like this and I was just lost for words to describe it.

“It was fantastic, an absolutely unreal experience.

“The worst bit was when I was sitting on the edge waiting to jump. My stomach churned a bit when we went out, but after that it was just amazing. I absolutely loved it.”

St Benedict’s Hospice has provided specialist palliative care to the people of Sunderland and surrounding districts since 1984 and its services have grown over the years.

It is now a centre of excellence providing a range of support across the whole community, through day services, out-patients, care in the home, hospital or care home as well as in-patient beds.