Schoolboy Ben Johnson spectacularly conquered his fear of heights to raise more than £1,000 for a meningitis charity in memory of one of his much-missed relations.
The 16-year-old, who goes to Kepier Academy, in Houghton, bungee jumped 160ft from the top of Middlesbrough’s iconic Transporter Bridge, which was opened back in 1911.
It was bad enough watching him do the jump so I can’t imagine what it was like for him to actually bungee off the bridge.Ken Robinson
Thanks to donations from friends and family members, he has raised more than £1,126.25 for the Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF).
Ben’s great uncle is Ken Robinson, the dad of promising cricketer Glenn Robinson who died aged just 16 in 1997 after contracting meningitis.
Talented Glenn, a Durham Academy player who also played for Philadelphia CC close to where he lived, was struck down by the meningococcal septicaemia strain of the brain disease.
Ken, 71, who has been an ambassador for the MRF for a number of years, hailed Ben’s bravery in taking on the challenge.
“It’s even more unbelievable what Ben has done when you know he’s frightened of heights,” said Ken, of Newbottle.
“It was bad enough watching him do the jump ,so I can’t imagine what it was like for him to actually bungee off the bridge.
“What a fantastic effort by him.”
Since Ken began fund-raising following Glenn’s death, more than £85,000 has been raised for the charity through various annual fund-raisers and other events.
“We’ve just gone through the £86,000 mark now and I can’t thank everyone who’s donated at one time or another enough,” added Ken.
“If it wasn’t for them then we wouldn’t have got anywhere near the amount of money we have done.”
Among the other events which Ken has organised since starting his charitable work for the MRF include annual football talk-ins, charity football matches and even a ladies’ cricket match.