9-year-old raises over £3k for Armed Forces charity in memory of family friend

Date published: 14 April 2021

A 9-year-old boy from Norden has raised over £3,000 for the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Families Association (SSAFA) charity after challenging himself to 200 pogo-stick jumps a day throughout the month of March.

Jack Chadwick wanted to take on the pogo-stick challenge and raise funds for SSAFA - the UK's oldest national tri-service military charity offering lifelong support to anyone who is currently serving or has served - in memory of family friend Marisa Tomkins, who passed away in February at the age of 63.

Originally an idea from Jack’s nan, Jackie Bowen, who was Marisa’s friend, the fundraiser was set up via Facebook donate by Jack’s older sister Beth.

Jack completed 6,200 jumps in total throughout March and received donations from over 160 people.


Marisa Tomkins
Marisa Tomkins


An Army Reserves veteran and dedicated SSAFA volunteer, Marisa Tomkins served in the British Territorial Army (TA) from 1985, including military operations in Bosnia and Baghdad, Iraq. She received the Iraq medal in 2006 and achieved the highest rank in the TA as Captain. Marisa also obtained her 5-year and 10-year TA Service Medal, and her Jubilee Medal.

In 1992, Marisa joined the police force, serving for 18 years alongside her continued TA commitments.

Described as ‘extremely well respected’, Marisa had only recently retired from the Territorial Army at the age of 60.

Once retired, she continued to work for the Benevolent Fund, a support network for active and retired police officers, and volunteered to support the Armed Forces community in the Bury area with SSAFA charity.


Jack Chadwick with his sister Beth
Jack Chadwick with his sister Beth


Jack’s sister Beth Chadwick, 21, said: “After a brave and courageous fight we lost Marisa on Friday 26 February 2021. She served her country for many years and this charity [SSAFA] was very close to her heart. Marisa was a much loved and dear friend to everyone.

“Jack tries to raise money for charity every year; last year he gave up chocolate and my dad (Lee Chadwick) gave up alcohol to raise money for Macmillan. In total, they raised £502.

“This year Jack decided to do something a little out of the ordinary and complete 200 pogo-stick jumps each day in March to try and raise £200 - 200 for 200.”

Jack, who attends Whittaker Moss Primary School, smashed his £200 goal quickly when he raised £2,220 in just one week.

Jack said: “I feel really, really good and happy that I can help people.”

Jonathan Sandall, Director of Fundraising at SSAFA said: “Jack, we are so grateful for your inspirational fundraising efforts. Jumping 200 pogo-stick jumps a day for the whole of March shows brilliant commitment and determination. You have smashed your fundraising target of £200 and we are blown away by your hard work to get you to over £3,000.

"You have done a wonderful thing in Marisa’s memory and we thank you again.”

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