Jessie jumps for joy – and for Amnesty International

FACING her greatest fears and leaping out of an aeroplane is how one Primrose Hill woman has chosen to raise money for Amnesty International

Tan Parsons

FACING her greatest fears and leaping out of an aeroplane is how one Primrose Hill woman has chosen to raise money for Amnesty International.

Jessie Doyle, 32, lives in Adelaide Road and on February 29 she will skydive to raise cash for a project supporting a human rights campaign in China.

Ms Doyle said: "I decided to do this after watching Aidan Hartley's Channel 4 documentary last year about the secret black jails of Beijing. The film was about the construction of the Olympic stadium, and how people are being moved out of their homes to make way and some are being put in these jails. It really moved me to take action.

"I've always lived in the Camden Town area and I've grown up nearby places like homeless hostel Arlington House. There are always some people who are homeless and it moves me to tears.

"I was really upset to think there was nothing I could do to help people in that situation, especially as I've always had a roof over my head. So I decided to make a stand.

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"I don't want to be overtly political or to start a fight with China but there's something missing there - the country is coming into a lot of money with the Olympics and they need to have human rights laws in place."

Ms Doyle is yet to recover her full fitness after a caesarean during the birth of her son Nathan, one, but is now training to get into shape for the jump by running up and down the 13 floors of her tower block.

She has set herself a target of raising £3,000 for Amnesty International and wants to recruit a team of 20 people to join her to make the jump.

She said: "My grandfather was a member of the International Brigade - he picked up a gun and climbed over the Pyrenees to help fight in the Spanish Civil War.

"I'd like to think I'm following in his footsteps - not by fighting, but by standing up for something I believe in. It would have made quite a dramatic statement if I had been able to parachute into the Olympic stadium in China, but I thought I might get shot if I try to do that.

"I don't actually know how the idea of doing a parachute jump ever came into the equation because I'm terrified of heights. I would love to have some people with me when I do the jump."

A recruitment and fundraising party is being held next Friday, February 8, at the Torriano Bar in Torriano Avenue, Kentish Town, from 7pm to 11pm. Entry donations are £2 and there will be a buffet and a DJ.

To sponsor Ms Doyle, or to join her skydive, send an email to or call 07954 573 014.