AN EAST Yorkshire man with a serious fear of heights is set to take on a 16,000ft skydive in aid of a York charity.

Simon Tanner will take on the challenge at Grindale near Bridlington on July 19 in support of his nephew Jack Fletcher and his fiancée Emma Bottomley, both 25 and of Malton, because Emma has ovarian cancer.

He wants to raise money for York Against Cancer (YAC) in thanks for the help the charity offered Emma after her diagnosis in February.

YAC runs two luxury respite homes offering free short breaks to cancer patients and their families and Emma was due to visit one of them when her condition deteriorated.

“I want to put something back,” said Simon, 49, of Bridlington. “I’ve never done anything like it before.

“YAC have been so helpful to Emma and her family and they deserve all the funds that we can raise. The more we raise, the more York Against Cancer can support more families.”

Emma and Jack have been together since the age of 14 after meeting at Malton High School.

Emma became a molecular diagnostician at FERA, Sand Hutton, while Jack is winery manager at his family’s business, Ryedale Vineyards.

Emma was treated for an ovarian cyst five years ago which turned out to be cancerous but was contained and she was apparently fit and well until last Autumn.

A keen runner, she had taken part in the Great North Run 2018 and thought the pain she had was due to running and going to the gym.

When her pain did not go away, tests confirmed in February this year that the ovarian cancer had returned. She and Jack were due to marry last month, but the ceremony has had to be put on hold.

Michelle Fletcher, who is Jack’s mum and Simon’s sister, said: “We all feel so helpless, and we feel maybe this will help other families in a similar situation.

“We are in awe of Simon – he’s so terrified of heights that he won’t even go up a ladder, and now he is throwing himself out of a plane!

“It was completely unexpected, he didn’t tell anyone, he just organised it and paid for it.”

“As many of us as possible are hoping to be there when he does it, if only to tease him about screaming all the way down!”

To sponsor Simon,


So far he’s raised £1,152 plus £197 gift aid, so he is well on his way to his £2,000 fundraising target.