Thrill-seeker, adrenaline-junkie, and professional free runner – Bám Nelson is used to taking on extreme challenges.
And this year he’s bravely taking on two new feats for St Catherine’s Hospice to mark the tenth anniversary of his dad being cared for by the charity.
Bám, who is famous for co-founding the Preston-based Street Monkeys free running and parkour team, and for his involvement with the Energi trampoline park and climbing venue in the city, is aiming to reach new heights in support of a cause close to his heart.
After reading about the charity’s skydive on Facebook, Bám got in touch with the St Catherine’s fundraising team, and not only signed up for the 11,000ft jump in April, but also registered for the hospice’s sponsored abseil event in March too.
“I’m quite adventurous and I’m used to jumping between buildings and doing things like rock-climbing, but I’ve never done a skydive before,” he said. “When I saw it on Facebook, I just thought ‘I’d love to give that a go’, and then I heard about the abseil so decided to put my name down for that as well. I’m really excited!
“The fact that these events are for such a worthy cause is awesome. This year is my dad’s tenth anniversary so I want to do this in his memory; I think he’d be really proud.”
Thomas Nelson was referred to St Catherine’s aged 42, after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. He spent his final days at the hospice, and Bám says the care he received has had a lasting effect on his family.
“My dad was my best friend,” he said. “I can’t remember all the details, but I was 14 when it happened, and I just know that he had everything he needed and was made comfortable, and my family was pleased he was so well cared for.
“This seems like the perfect opportunity for me to give something back, as a way of saying ‘thank you’, and by doing something I enjoy.
“I’m keen to help raise as much sponsorship as possible, and also help to raise awareness about the great work of St Catherine’s. I have quite a large following on social media because of the Street Monkeys, and lots of people are already backing me, which is great.”
Bám, from Euxton, who also works as a Spiderman at children’s parties and schools, plans to blog about his experiences and share his story with fans, further helping to raise the profile of the skydive, the abseil, and the hospice.
St Catherine’s fundraiser, Emma Jacovelli, said: “We’re so excited that Bám is on board with our two adrenaline challenges. These events are perfect for him, and we hope that others will be inspired to support the hospice after hearing why he feels so motivated to do what he can to raise money and awareness on behalf of the charity.
“Our annual skydive and abseil days are always really popular and loads of fun, so we’re looking forward to this Spring’s events – with a new venue for the abseil, and limited places available for the incredible skydive jump!”
The abseil takes place at St John’s Church in Whittle-le-Woods on Saturday 18th March. Registration is £15 and people are encouraged to raise as much in sponsorship as possible (fancy dress is optional).
The skydive will be held at Black Knights Parachute Centre in Lancaster on Saturday 15th April. St Catherine’s asks that people raise a minimum of £395 to cover costs, and any additional sponsors will help fund the specialist work of the hospice.