Teenagers get set for skydive in memory of friend Damian

Fundraisers Kayode Balogun and Tom Shirley
Fundraisers Kayode Balogun and Tom Shirley

‘Bullies drove me to suicide attempt... now I’m joining Prince to fight back’

0
Have your say

CLOSE friends of a Petersfield teenager are uniting for a challenge in his memory.

Damian Thomas died after falling from a bridge on the A3 in 2015, aged 17 – and now Tom Shirley and Kayode Balogun are taking on a charity skydive for the Damian Thomas Musical Trust.

Damian Thomas, 17, who died on the A3 at Petersfield on September 12, 2015.

Picture: Kay Thomas

Damian Thomas, 17, who died on the A3 at Petersfield on September 12, 2015. Picture: Kay Thomas

As they prepare to leap out of a plane from 15,000ft in November, Tom and Kayode have set themselves a fundraising target of at least £250 each.

The trust, established by the former Warblington School pupil’s family last year, hopes to raise £5,000 so it can become a registered charity.

Speaking ahead of the feat – which will see the pair freefall at speeds of up to 130mph – 19-year-old Tom from Petersfield said: ‘Heights are certainly not my favourite thing in the world, but this is all for a fantastic cause.

‘The trust has raised about £4,800 since it started and it would be amazing to operate as a registered charity. It was heartbreaking when Damian passed away. This is all for him.’

Kayode, left, and Tom Shirley

Kayode, left, and Tom Shirley

Kayode, 19, said: ‘I’m looking forward to the skydive. Jumping out of a plane probably isn’t high on everybody’s list, but it’s for a good cause and that’s what this is all about. Damian was a great friend and he is hugely missed.’

The aim of the Damian Thomas Musical Trust is to provide musical instruments, books and lessons to families who may not get the opportunity to learn to play without this support.

Kay Thomas, Damian’s mother, said: ‘Damian was a very talented self-taught musician – it was his passion. Instruments and lessons can be expensive, so we will be able to help if someone wants to start to play.’

Tom and Kayode will perform the skydive at Old Sarum Park, Salisbury at the beginning of November.

To donate to the Damian Thomas Musical Trust, visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/tom-shirley, or visit thedamianthomastrust.orgto learn more.