Mother’s leap of faith
Family mark Josh Hanson’s birthday with sky dive and meal
JUMP FOR JUSTICE JUSTICE: T Tracey H Hanson, motherth of f murderd victimi ti J Josh hj joinedi dfi friendsd and family in a day of sky diving to raise funds for the family’s appeal.
THE family of murdered Josh Hanson marked what would have been his 22nd birthday with an incredible group skydive, and raised thousands in a team effort.
Mr Hanson, of Kingsbury, was stabbed to death at the RE Bar in Field End Road, Eastcote, during the early hours of October 11 2015.
Mum Tracey, who previously put out an emotional plea to catch her son’s killer, was one of 40 people who took part in the mass skydive.
Josh, who would have turned 22 on Saturday February 27, did a sky dive of his own to raise money for a family friend’s daughter, who needed a £50,000 operation in America, so his family thought it would be a fitting way to mark his birthday.
Ms Hanson said: “He did really well that day and it was really befitting to carry that story through – not only was he a great man but he did something at a young age that none of his peers did. I was really proud of him that day.”
The day was described as a “positive” filled with highs and lows for the bereaved mother and sister, Brooke.
Ms Hanson continued: “As hard as it was on Saturday, it was nice having everyone there to support Brooke and I for Josh’s birthday.
“At one point I was standing there watching everyone come down and I completely forgot why I was doing it.
“One of the boys was coming down and the first thing that came into my head was Josh... then I thought no, Josh isn’t here, that’s why we’re doing it – but I held it together and it was a really good day.
“Everyone was extremely emotional. I asked if I could show Josh’s DVD of when he did it and they very kindly put up a big screen and played it to everyone.
“It was a mixture of tears and laughter and it inspired everyone else to go ahead with it.
“I was absolutely petrified, I haven’t even flown for eight years and for me it was massive to do it.
“I was proud of myself and extremely proud of Brooke as well, we were in the plane together.
“I’m so full of love for everyone that did it and the supporters that came.”
The total raised hasn’t been finalised, but around £5,000 is said to have been raised on multiple crowdfunding groups to help set up Tracey’s impending charity – Justice for Josh Hanson.
After the skydive the group took part in a family tradition which saw them enjoy a meal at the Hanson’s local curry house, Spice of India in Wembley.
“That was a bit tough because we had birthday cake, Brooke cut the cake and blew out the candles – that was really hard for her.
“It was an emotional time because we were in there last year for Josh’s 21st but we got through it.
“We made up party bags for everyone with a thank you card and a photo of Josh in each one.
“We had a team here laminating – we worked so hard for it.”
The family will continue spreading the word through the Justice for Josh Hanson Facebook page, now with nearly 27,000 likes.
Tracey added: “Every single day I’m sending out posters. They’re all over Ireland, Spain, Cyprus, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Lanzarote.
“I am overwhelmed by the public and their support.”
n TEAM WORK: About 40 people turned out for the jump in memory of Josh Hanson. Left, Josh when he completed his skydive. Inset above, Josh’s sister Brooke with an instructor