Skydivers make a big leap for local cancer patients
THRILL seekers took to the skies on Saturday to raise money for a new chemotherapy unit for North Devon.
It was hearts-in-mouths stuff for the 21 big-hearted supporters who signed up to take part in the second sponsored tandem skydive at Dunkeswell airfield, organised in aid of Northern Devon Healthcare Trustâ€™s Chemotherapy Appeal.
And brave jumpers were rewarded with clear blue skies and far-reaching birdâ€™s eye views across Devon as well as a 15,000ft vertical drop.
A similar event in June raised around ï¿½10,000 and organisers estimate the weekendâ€™s jump could fetch ï¿½5,000 for the appeal.
Among those who took part on Saturday was Northern Devon Healthcare Trustâ€™s deputy chief executive Andy Robinson.
Fellow participant Melanie Powell said sheâ€™d enjoyed her skydive so much she want to do it all over again.
â€œI had an amazing skydive and raised ï¿½606.50,â€ she said.
Kelly Edgar said it was both â€œterrifying and exhilaratingâ€.
â€œMy hands have never shaken so much â€“ thanks to both the Skydive UK guys and Ian Roome for keeping me calm, and a big thanks to all my sponsors.
â€œItâ€™s a brilliant cause and I canâ€™t wait to see it completed,â€ she added.
Northern Devon Healthcare Trust Charitable Fund is raising money to replace the outdated and cramped facilities at North Devon District Hospital with a brand new stand-alone chemotherapy unit alongside the main hospital building.
It hopes the ï¿½2.2million campaign will make a difference to the lives of nearly 5,000 local cancer patients who use the existing service in Barnstaple every year.
Fund-raising manager Ian Roome thanked all those who raised money and took part in the event, especially those who conquered their fear of heights for the charity.
â€œItâ€™s really amazing to see what lengths people will go through to raise money for our appeal,â€ he said.
â€œSome of the participants were understandably quite nervous to begin with but once they had landed it was clear to see the delight on their faces.
â€œBy taking part in such an exhilarating day they have helped cancer patients in North Devon for generations to come and I am sure it will be one that will live long in the memory.â€
The sponsored parachute jumps have proved so popular that a special â€œSanta skydiveâ€ is being organised for Saturday, December 17.
â€œItâ€™s the first time such an event has been done at Dunkeswell so if you want to deliver a special fund-raising gift to help others this Christmas, get in touch,â€ added Mr Roome.
To find out more about the Santa skydive or other ways in which you can help the appeal, telephone Ian Roome on (01271) 311772 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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