Owen and Joel

A Black Country man is preparing to jump out of a plane at 10,000ft in memory of his brother, uncle and grandad who were killed in the 2015 terrorist attack in Tunisia.

Owen Richards is joining a group of other fundraisers to take part in Jump For Joel in July. The group will include members of other families who also lost their loved ones in Tunisia, who are coming from across the UK to take part.

They are raising money for Smile For Joel, the charity set by Owen and his mum Suzy after the attack in Tunisia that saw 38 people killed including his brother Joel, 19, uncle Adrian Evans, 49, and grandad Patrick Evans, 78. Owen survived the attack.

Owen, 21, from Wednesbury, said: “I’m not a fan of heights and I am definitely nervous about it, but this was something that was on Joel’s bucket list.

“He had spoken about wanting to do a skydive and that’s a big part of my motivation for doing this. I’m taking part knowing that Joel wanted to do it.

“It’s very scary to jump out of a plane at 10,000ft – well it’s more of a fall than a jump – but if there was ever a reason to do it and get over that fear, it’s Smile For Joel.”

This is the first skydive organised by the charity. It was due to be held on the fifth anniversary of the attack last year, but was postponed because of Covid-19. It will take place on July 3.

Owen, who now teaches English online internationally, said more than 30 people had already signed up and he was delighted to see the support for the important work that Smile For Joel does.

“It’s great to see so many people coming together, especially the other family members who also lost their loved ones, who are coming from across the UK to take part,” he said.

Smile For Joel was set up to support families who have been torn apart by traumatic bereavement. The charity also raises awareness of safe travel abroad and supports the UK’s counter terrorism strategy.