Mother and daughter to skydive for charity

Sarah O'Connell and her mum Viv Bristow SUS-150515-104157001
Sarah O'Connell and her mum Viv Bristow SUS-150515-104157001

Sarah O’Connell from Handcross and her mum, Viv Bristow, will soon “do something a little crazy” when they jump 10,000 feet from a plane in a tandem skydive.

The family duo are taking on the challenge in order to help spread the word about local charity Home-Start CHAMS and to raise much needed funds for the work the charity does supporting families with young children.

The charity is very close to their hearts, because Sarah herself received support from them following the birth of her twins 6 years ago.

“Soon after my twin daughters were born, I was lucky to be put in touch with Home-Start CHAMS and go along to one of the groups they run specially for parents with twins, triplets, or more! Having somewhere like that to go to, where people understood what it was like to have twins, certainly helped me”, said Sarah.

In addition to these groups, Home-Start provides support to families across Crawley, Horsham and Mid-Sussex where parents are struggling to cope for a variety of reasons, including isolation, disability, or poverty, as well as multiple births. Sarah, who now also works for the charity, explained how trained volunteers give these families the help they need.

“Volunteers individually work with a specific family, visiting them in their own home, to improve the lives for their children. What they do depends on what the family needs, but it could be financial advice, somebody to listen, or help attending appointments.”

“It’s important to my Mum and me that local people know what the charity does and that those families they support could be your family, friends, neighbours or work colleagues. But maybe you don’t know it. It can be hard to ask for help and Home-Start are there to offer it”, continued Sarah.

Last year Home-Start CHAMS supported 355 local children, with their team of trained Home Visiting volunteers.

“We are passionate about our work and the unique support our volunteers give to local families”, said Jacquie Thomas, the charity’s Fundraising Manager. “We have been grateful to get support from the Big Lottery Fund and other local organisations” continued Jacquie. “But to be able to continue offering our services to the families that need us, backing like this from our local community is also vital.”

“Viv and Sarah are an inspiration and we’re so grateful for their support”, added Jacquie Thomas, “as well as for everyone who is sponsoring them to take on this challenge. It will make a real difference in our work with local families.”

Viv and Sarah will be making their jump on the 20th June and can be sponsored at, or by text to 70070 with the message ‘VSKY59 £10’.

To find out more about Home-Start CHAMS, including opportunities to join them in supporting local families, please visit or call them on 01293 416327.

Report and picture contributed by Home-Start CHAMS.