18-September-2015 13:52
in General
by Admin

We have some amazing people who come to make their tandem jump here at Netheravon.  Some people do it only once whilst others get the 'bug' and keep repeating the experience.  One such lady is 67 year old Veronica Hawthorne who has just completed her tenth jump with us here at the end of August.

Veronica is a lady of many surprises.  A widow for eight years, she lives in a pretty cottage in the New Forest, sings soprano with a local Chamber Choir and has been a Funeral Director in Lymington for over 25 years!  For such a solemn and serious profession, this lady is anything but!  She has a wicked sense of humour to say the least.  More than anything else her ten skydives have enabled her to raise nearly £10k for local charities; a phenominal feat considering she has done this completely alone!

Veronica takes up the story: "In May 2013 I was persuaded, over a glass of wine - or two, to do a skydive in aid of our local hospice.  I am petrified of heights and I remember being absolutely terrified.  The problem was I had already raised £4600 so I couldn't really get out of it!  Tandem Instructor Mike Outen took me up on my first jump and despite Mike making me feel very safe, I couldn't bear to let go of my harness!  Pete Alexander was my cameraman on that first jump and after we landed he asked if I would do it again .... the rest as they say is history!  By the time I had done my second jump I was brave enough to let go of the harness and put my arms out - so, to say I was a bit of a challenge would be an understatement!

I consider myself so lucky to have been introduced to Netheravon on that first skydive.  Everyone is so friendly and I have made some lovely friends at what was a very sad time in my life.  You are now my little Netheravon family who, although you probably didn't realise it, helped to give me back a purpose in life after I lost my hubby.  I admit to now acting my shoe size, it's much more fun and I am enjoying life again.  As someone once said "I'll be back"".

Veronica is definitely a force to be reckoned with, and over her ten jumps she has raised money for BLESMA, Cancer Research and Oakhaven Hospice.  The £10k she has raised has gone to helping make things better for many people.  Well done Veronica, we are looking forward to seeing you back this weekend for number 11???


  • “I had a truly awesome experience yesterday, in every way.  I was absolutely terrified but felt totally invincible afterwards and I even fell in love with your cameraman, Mike!  Cam was lovely too and if I decide to do it again it would have to be with him.  It was all very professional, from start to finish. They were a great bunch and I will recommend this to anyone and everyone.  I jumped for the MS Trust and secured £723 in sponsorship so far with promises of more to come.  It is great to feel alive again.”

    Claire Gillett

  • “First ever tandem skydive for worthing churches homeless project today, loved it. Special thanks to my instructor Jay and the cameraman trevor who both made me laugh a lot and really relaxed me! definately want to jump again Thanks guys for a great day!”

    Louise Kidd

  • "First charity tandem skydive done here last Saturday. Despite being extremely scared, the instructors made me feel completely at ease and in safe hands. Highly recommend anyone doing a jump, to do it here. Would definitely consider doing another skydive off the back of this experience despite my fear of heights and flying. Brilliant day and life experience. Thank you."

    Abi Harley

  • "First ever tandem skydive....amazing!!! Massive thank you to my instructor Gary u were fab!!!"

    Michelle Fortet

  • "Amazing Day, looked after from start to finish, great people, very friendly, relaxed atmosphere, Pete my tandem partner.. TOP BLOKE he was very professional and experienced. HIGHLY RECOMMEND this to anyone."

    Michael Taylor

  • "Wow first ever tandem skydive today for oakhaven. Raised over £1000, so thank you all ... with my daughter Leah lopez, amazing surreal, nothing else like it. Thank you to Gary and Jay...... Leah now wants to do more and do a single jump!! Eeek!"

    Becky Evans