This charity was formed by a small group of friends in memory of Michelle Jurd, who tragically died in 2009 aged 41 in a terrible car accident. Leaving behind two beautiful little girls, aged 2 and 4 and her husband, Neil Jurd.
Michelle had served as an RAF officer, flying Puma helicopters in various operations around the world, including the Mozambique flood response, and the Kosovo and Iraq campaigns. In both conflicts, she flew in the first wave of the helicopters over the border.
After her RAF career Michelle concentrated on family life, with her husband Neil, and her 2 young daughters, settling in Cumbria in 2007. Michelle loved Cumbria, loved to travel, loved adventure, and wanted her own children to live life as fully as possibly. Neil was an army officer until 2009, which is why our charity is committed to supporting both RAF and army charities.
The Michelle Jurd Trust has Michelle’s ethos of living life to the full, and seeking meaningful adventure at it’s very core, enabling great opportunities for thousands of young people, whilst also supporting former service people in need. These are things Michelle believed in so fully, and whilst nothing can ever compensate for the loss of such a wonderful person, we feel connected to her every time a child experiences a new adventure, or a service person finds their new purpose in life.
For Michelle. For the Children. For the Service personnel. For Cumbria.
Neil Jurd - Founder & Trustee
How We Use Adventure to Make a Difference
As of 2019, the Michelle Jurd Trust (MJT) has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds which has had a huge meaningful impact to our benefactors.
Neil Jurd – The Founder and his fellow trustees annually visit the schools and youth organisations MJT have supported to meet up with those who have benefited directly from your generosity. These visits are always inspiring. Hearing the stories of people learning new skills, being supported, overcoming fears, and gaining in self-confidence make our work worthwhile and inspire us. Thank you!
Chair - Jane Samson
Treasurer - Sandra Howarth
Trustee - Carmel Ashton
Trustee - Lou Hargreaves
Trustee - Brian Gregory
Trustee - Mark Quinn
Often, children describe the most challenging experiences as the ones they have enjoyed most. In a recent visit to Grange Primary School, Neil heard how much pupils had enjoyed visiting Castle Head Outdoor Centre, climbing and then standing on top of a very high and deliberately wobbly wooden pole – a huge challenge requiring considerable courage.
Our trustees also regularly meet with representatives of the service charities we support, and again, it is inspiring to hear the difference our money makes. The RAF Benevolent Fund support a wide community of former RAF service-people and their dependents, a typical project being funding the conversion of a property for use by an injured amputee Iraq veteran. Or providing residential care for older veterans and widows.