Norfolk

Mass skydive in memory of Watton men

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Media captionAbout 40 people took part in the skydive at Beccles airfield in Suffolk

Friends and family of four men who died in the same Norfolk town have remembered them with a mass skydive.

Jimmy Lain, 31, and close friend Nick Thomas, 27, both of Watton, are believed to have taken their own lives in April and June this year.

Their deaths followed the suicides in Watton of Nick Dobson, 26, in 2003 and 31-year-old Paul Outlaw in 2011.

About 40 skydivers did a 14,000ft jump in aid of a charity which aims to cut the high suicide rate in young men.

They said they hope to create a centre in Norfolk run by the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), called a CALMzone.

'Facing my fears'

Many of those who took part said a skydive was not something they would usually contemplate but were willing to do so to remember their loved ones.

Mr Lain's widow, Suzanne, 26, who has already raised more than £1,400, said: "My husband decided to take his own life in April - two months later our close friend Nick took his life too.

"I am determined to raise as much money and awareness as I can for CALM, even if it means facing my fears.

"I genuinely do not want anyone to feel the pain that we feel now."

Speaking afterwards she said: "It was incredible, and how much closer can I personally get to my husband now than up there?

"It was something I was terrified of, but it was absolutely exhilarating to face that fear.

"It's one of the best things I've ever done - it was so good."

'Impact of suicides'

Chief executive of CALM, Jane Powell, said: "We've had four people skydiving for CALM before, but over 40 is unprecedented.

"This really does show the impact of suicide upon the lives of those around them."

Suicide is the most common cause of death of men under 35 in the UK, according to CALM.

It said a Merseyside CALMzone had seen a drop of 55% in suicides in 15 to 35-year-olds, between 1999 and 2009.

Full inquests into the deaths of Mr Lain and Mr Thomas, expected to be held by the Norfolk Coroner, are yet to take place.

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