Thousands raised in Tyne bungee jump event

BRAVE bungee jumpers raised thousands of pounds in the sunshine by the Tyne.

More than 100 supporters of three charities leapt from a 175ft platform yesterday during the Jump for Heroes event at HMS Calliope, Gateshead.

The jumpers were raising money for Robbie Jones, The Soldiers’ Charity and the Abbie Harbottle Fund for Sick Children.

Four-year-old Robbie lost both his legs after contracting meningitis when he was just 23 months old.

Abbie was born with one working lung and holes in her heart.

The two-year-old was also diagnosed with a rare from of cancer. Her dedicated family and friends have set up the fund to support children who go into hospital.

All the money raised by jumpers for the fund will be spent on toys for the Bubble Ward at Newcastle’s RVI.

Yesterday army-mad Robbie from Bowburn, County Durham, was made a mascot for The Soldiers’ Charity.

He was presented with his own combat uniform and watched the jumpers from the Quayside.

Robbie’s parents are raising money to pay for new prosthetic limbs. Mam Jill said: "He was over the moon and has been going round saluting to everyone.

"He said he’s going to practise marching with the big army lads.

"I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone, they’re all very brave."

Abbie’s mam Emma, from Newcastle, said she was proud of everyone who jumped.

"It’s been absolutely brilliant and the turn out was fantastic," she said.

Abbie’s 10-year-old sister Courtney bravely went up to the jumping point and waved to the crowd.

Kayleigh Vallentine-Moffitt from Gateshead was jumping to support the Abbie Harbottle Fund for Sick Children.

The 22-year-old said: "I’ve never done anything like this but it was excellent.

"The money is going to be really important and will give young people the opportunity to have a better time in hospital."

Organiser Major Eric Ingram, the chairman of The Soldiers’ Charity in the North East, said those raising cash for the army charity were jumping in memory of Coldstream Guards from the North East killed in Afghanistan.

Guardsman Michael Sweeney, 19, from Blyth, died in April 2010 and Acting Sergeant John Amer, 30, from Sunderland lost his life in November 2009.

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