War hero’s determination inspires Corby girl’s skydive for charity

A Corby teenager will jump out of a plane next month to raise money for charity after she was inspired by a war hero’s story.

Aimee Ballantyne, 16, is set to skydive at Sibson Airfield near Peterborough on April 30 to raise money for RMA – The Royal Marines Charity.

She had watched a documentary about Royal Marines Commando Mark Ormrod, who stepped on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in 2007 and lost three limbs.

Having been told he would never walk again, he not only proved them wrong to walk down the aisle on his wedding day but claimed gold at the Invictus Games.

Aimee’s dad Garry, who is ex-forces, contacted the war hero and asked if he would sign his book ‘Man Down’ for her. He went one better and not only signed the book but sent her a poster – and now Aimee wants to give something back.

Proud mum Lynnette said: “She is quite scared but also very excited.

“Aimee has one of the biggest hearts that I have ever known in a child and she never thinks about herself.

“She’s always thinking about other people and that’s what I love about her.”

Aimee, who is a pupil at Corby Business Academy, originally set herself a goal of £500.

But, despite the pandemic cutting off many traditional routes of fundraising, she has smashed every target set with the current total standing at more than £2,700.

She’s sold bags of Scottish tablet and held two big bingo nights, with one earlier this month having 90 people taking part on Zoom.

Lynnette said: “A lot of them were people that Garry served in the forces with, people who live locally or people from Highland dancing.

“She’s had so much support and it’s been brilliant to see.”

She’s also holding a raffle on Saturday, March 12, with some fantastic prizes.

Anyone who can donate a raffle prize or who wants to buy a ticket can contact Lynnette on 07944 531243 or on her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/lynnette.ballantyne.9.

And there’s an incentive for Aimee to raise even more – because if she hits £3,000 dad Garry, brother Will and his friend Ben have pledged to have their legs waxed.

Lynnette added: “I’m very proud – this has been an incredible achievement by her.”

To donate to Aimee’s cause, visit her fundraising page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/aimee-ballantyne.