Michelle's Story

In her memory

In her memory

This charity was formed by a small group of friends in memory of Michelle Jurd, who lived her life to the full. Michelle died in 2009, aged 41, in a car accident in Cumbria, she was survived by her two daughters, then aged 2 and 4, and her husband, Neil Jurd.

Michelle was a helicoptor pilot, and had served as an RAF officer, raising to the ranks of Squadron Leader later in her career. She was the first female pilot to qualify as a navigator on Puma helicopters and saw service in various operations around the world, including the Mozambique flood response, and the Kosovo and Iraq campaigns.  In both conflicts, Michelle 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.

Over the past tean years the Trust has supported schools in order to send more than 2,000 schoolchildren across the North West to outdoor activity and enjoy cultural pursuits. In addition, grants have been sent to many veteran charities including the RAF Benevolent Fund, and the Gurkha Welfare Trust.

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.