Published Monday 12th September 2016

A mother is gearing up for a skydive to raise funds for the Hereford hospice where her daughter spent her final days.

Jenny Watts takes to the skies this Saturday (17th) in memory of 29-year-old Sophie Watts who died in 2014 at St Michael’s Hospice.

But Jenny won’t be alone during the ambitious fundraiser as at least seven others have signed up to the challenge having heard about her plans.

‘I put something on Facebook and mentioned it to one or two people,’ said Jenny, who lives in Fownhope. ‘It’s just snowballed.’

The daredevil group all have a Tesco connection as Jenny used to work at the city centre store, while the rest are employed at the Belmont branch. For many, though, this isn’t the first vertigo-inducing challenge they have taken part in.

Earlier this year a team abseiled from the roof of the Old Market shopping centre in Hereford, also raising money for St Michael’s.

One of those jumping into the unknown is Rachel Price, who has a fear of heights.

She said: ‘I cringe going up an escalator, so jumping from 10,000-feet is a terrifying thought. I think I will need to be pushed and then just close my eyes until I land.

‘I used to work with Jenny at the Tesco Hereford store. She was always very supportive, and I wanted to do something to help raise money for St Michael’s. When my colleagues heard about the idea they also wanted to help, so now we are all jumping out of a plane in memory of ‘Sophie’.’

Jenny isn’t a stranger to raising money for the Hospice, which is based in Bartestree, having taken part in various fundraising events in the past.

‘I’m not nervous about the skydive at the moment but I might be when the day comes around,’ she said.

Her daughter was a junior staff nurse at Hereford County Hospital who was diagnosed with bile duct cancer.

She lived at home before being admitted to the Hospice on June 9, 2014. She sadly passed away about a fortnight later meaning she wasn’t given the chance to walk up the aisle to marry her fiance, Jon Lloyd, as the couple had planned.

Her mother says she has nothing but praise for the way the Hospice cared for both her daughter and her wider family.

‘It was brilliant,” she said.

‘It was like home from home. Everyone makes you feel welcome. It’s the whole family that gets looked after.’

Jenny says she doesn’t have a target in mind but just hopes to raise as much money as she can for St Michael’s.

Anyone wishing to sponsor her should visit