May 312013

With thanks to Claire McBain.

27 May – 2 June is National Family Week, and one Aberdeen family will celebrate some special birthdays with a sponsored sky dive to support causes close to their hearts, NE social care charity VSA’s Friends for Life club and PDSA, the UK’s leading veterinary charity.

The eight-strong group will take the plunge on Wednesday 17 July at Peterlee, County Durham.

Joanne Herron said:

“Our family has had a lot to celebrate recently.  So, we decided to come together for something I never thought I’d even consider – jumping out of an aeroplane.  At first it sounded crazy, but in the context of doing it to raise money for charities that mean a lot to us, it didn’t seem so unachievable after all. 

“My dad, John, has always wanted to do a sky dive.  Last year he not only turned 60 but got married to Christina in October.  So, with my new step-brother Scott MacIver, an Olympic Torch bearer for VSA and BP, turning 21 and my thirtieth in May, we thought what better way to celebrate than jumping out of a plane?  We roped in another four too, making it a proper family outing.

“We’re paying for the jump out of our own pockets so every single penny we raise will go to VSA and PDSA.  VSA has been a part of our lives for years now.  My dad worked with VSA’s Friends for Life club for 14 years and now Scott, who used to attend the club due to his disabilities, is a volunteer there.

“Our fundraising will make sure others like Scott can have the amazing experience he did.  For children with additional support needs, mainstream youth clubs are often not an option due to their condition.  But why should they miss out?  They still need to socialise, be themselves and have fun. 

“Without this club, many children with disabilities in Aberdeen wouldn’t have any friends.  Friends for Life makes sure these amazing children and young people can find and keep friends in a safe, happy and fun environment.  They love it.  It also gives their parents or carers well-deserved and much-needed respite.  But, more importantly, lets them see their children happy and playing with friends, just as it should be.”

Elaine Michael, a day care manager for children with special needs and manages the Friends for Life clubs, said:

I’m delighted that John and his family feel passionate enough about Friends for Life to jump out of a plane on our behalf.  We’re so lucky to have some amazing fundraisers behind us at VSA.  Without the support and enthusiasm of our local community, we wouldn’t have Friends for Life.”

The Friends for Life clubs will share the funds with PDSA.  Christina has worked in the Aberdeen PetAid Hospital for nine years.  The charity cares for the pets of people in need by providing free veterinary services for their sick and injured pets.

The group of eight is, John Herron, his wife Christina MacIver and Christina’s son Scott MacIver; John’s daughters Joanne Herron and Lynsey Norrie; his son Craig Herron, Craig’s wife Lisa and John’s niece Jenni Nicolson.

You can sponsor the family at