Brother preparing for skydive in memory of relatives killed in Tunisia terror attack

A Black Country man is preparing to jump out of a plane at 10,000ft – in memory of his brother, uncle and grandad who were killed in the 2015 terrorist attack in Tunisia.

Owen Richards with his brother Joel who was killed in the terror attack
Owen Richards with his brother Joel who was killed in the terror attack

Owen Richards is joining a group of other fundraisers to take part in Jump For Joel in July.

He will raise funds for Smile for Joel, the charity set up by Owen, now 21, and his mother Suzy Evans after the attack in Tunisia saw 38 people killed – including his brother Joel, 19, uncle Adrian Evans, 49, and grandad Patrick Evans, 78. Owen, who was just 16 years old at the time, was the only member of the family to survive the attack.

For the skydive, Owen will be joined by members of other families who also lost their loved ones in the Tunisia attack, who are coming from across the UK to take part.

Owen Richards with his mother Suzy Evans

Owen, from Wednesbury, said: “I am not a fan of heights and I am definitely nervous about it, but this was something that was on Joel’s bucket list.

“He had spoken about wanting to do a skydive and that’s a big part of my motivation for doing this. I am taking part knowing that Joel wanted to do it.

“It’s very scary to jump out of a plane at 10,000ft – well it is more of a fall than a jump – but if there was ever a reason to do it and get over that fear, it’s Smile For Joel.”

This is the first skydive organised by the charity. It was due to be held on the fifth anniversary of the attack last year, but was postponed because of Covid-19.

It will now take place on July 3.

Owen Richards taking part in a Smile for Joel run at Sandwell Valley Country Park with family, friends and neighbours – after their 2020 event had to go virtual due to Covid

Owen, who now teaches English online internationally, said more than 30 people had already signed up and he was delighted to see the support for the important work that Smile For Joel does.

He added: “It's great to see so many people coming together, especially the other family members who also lost their loved ones, who are coming from across the UK to take part."

Smile For Joel was set up to support families who have been torn apart by traumatic bereavement. The charity also raises awareness of safe travel abroad and supports the UK’s counter terrorism strategy.

To sponsor Owen in his skydive, visit his Just Giving page. To find out more about Jump For Joel, email, and for more information about the charity and other fundraising events, visit the Smile for Joel website.

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