A Skydive Challenge to raise money for a wildlife charity has been taken up by two separate families.
The Eveleighs and the Masons are among several people who will be taking a dive to help endangered animals by supporting Horsham wildlife charity Care for the Wild.
Places for the jump, which takes place on 21st June, are still available, but the two families are among those already raring to go.
Tom Eveleigh, 31, from Crawley, will be taking the leap with his mum Heather, Uncle Paul from Notting Hill and Cousin Josh from Staines.
“I’ve been volunteering with Care for the Wild and loved the idea of doing something amazing like this, while also helping their fantastic work with wildlife. I thought I’d put the challenge out to my big family, and got a great response!” said Tom.
“My uncle was the first to jump on the bandwagon, but he’s a bit nuts so the opportunity to jump out of a plane gives him a bit of a thrill. And my cousin Josh has a sister who has done three skydives so I think he is doing it for sibling rivalry purposes.
“My mum is very proud of the work I’m doing with the charity and she’s always had a spirit of adventure and a strong affection for animals, so wants to combine all three of those things!
“It’s going to be hilarious and fantastic. Paul and Josh have a fear of heights. Josh is competitive so is doing it to conquer his fear. I’m most looking forward to seeing my mum doing it because I’ll be really proud of her.
“When I left my last job up in the city I was living a pretty self-centred life so I wanted to do something that meant a lot to me. It’ll be a real shame if I’m part of the generation that allows elephant, rhinos and tigers to become extinct and only things that people can see on repeats of David Attenborough programmes. They have the right to exist and we have the chance to stop something that seems inevitable. And if we don’t do it we’re complicit in it.”
The Masons – Jimmy, 57, Luke, 26, both from Horsham, and Christopher, 22, currently studying in Nottingham – were also roped into the event by a Care for the Wild volunteer: mum of the family Rachel.
“I started volunteering for Care for the Wild just under a year ago. I have always been an animal lover and cared greatly for their welfare so I’m happy to help in any way I can, or in this case my family are!” said Rachel.
“I saw the newsletter advertising the charity jump and knew I couldn’t do it myself, due to the fact I’m scared of heights and planes! I thought of my eldest son and when I asked him if he wanted an opportunity to jump out of a plane, he literally ‘jumped’ at the chance - he said that it was something he and his late grandfather ( who we lost five years ago) wanted to do but never got round to it. Not wanting my other son to feel left out, I asked him too. Then I told my husband he has to be up there to look after them. Once he got the okay from the doctor he’s very much looking forward to it, as are they all!
“Now it has dawned on me that I will be on the ground, with my mum holding my hand, watching as the men in my life descend towards me!”
Care for the Wild CEO Philip Mansbridge added: “We’re often asking our supporters to dig deep to help us help wildlife, but this is something else! We’re really proud to know that there are people prepared to jump out of a plane to support our work. That tells me that the work we are doing must be worth something and it tells me that our supporters are a very brave and dedicated bunch!”
To find out more about the Care for the Wild Skydive – including how to take part – go to www.careforthewild.com/ways-to-help/dareforthewild/
To sponsor the Eveleighs please go to: www.justgiving.com/Tom-Eveleigh1
To sponsor the Masons, please go to: www.Justgiving.com/MasonsSkyDive
Report contributed by Care for the Wild.