Skydiving for Charity

Parents and Staff Will Skydive to Raise Funds for Rushden School

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Six parents, a head teacher and a receptionist will participate in a charity skydive to raise funds for Rowan Gate Primary School in Rushden.

Rowan Gate East in Wellingborough, UK, is a primary school that meets the needs of children in east Northamptonshire.

The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills has recognized that at the school “Teaching is outstanding which brings about pupils outstanding achievement. Teachers and other adults who support learning provide excellent development in pupils’ language and communication skills.”

Amy Leydon, whose seven-year-old son Charlie is a student at Rowan Gate, says government funding is insufficient to cover all of the school’s expenses.

Leydon, 33, along with other parents, will take part in a skydive at Sibson Airfield in Peterborough on August 12, 2017, to raise additional funds for the Rushden school. “The Government has cut costs and it means kids are missing out on things that are quite important to them,” Leydon said. “They’re missing out on things like drama lessons and play equipment and so far, we’ve raised £5,000.

“Last year I did a half-marathon and it was good, but it wasn’t quite frightening enough,” she said.
“This is what we are prepared to do to help our children get what they need.”

Parents Emma Bellamy, Julia Kirby, Tammy Byles, Nikki Damore-Wright and Tara Beavis will also be jumping at Sibson Airfield, along with school receptionist, Verity Harrison, and head teacher Julia Coles.

The event, sponsored by UK Parachuting, which works with more than 40 charity organizations in the UK and around the world, requires a £50 deposit on booking. A £150 balance for the skydive must be paid on the day of the jump. The weight limit for a tandem skydive is 218 pounds, and the minimum age is 16 years old.

“Quite honestly with the love, care and enormous amounts of attention they give the children the school deserves every penny. We really appreciated everyone who has sponsored us so far and we’d love to raise even more money,” Leydon said.

Also on August 12, the YMCA Cambridgeshire and Peterborough team will be raising funds in a charity skydive, also at Sibson Airfield.

According to the UK Parachuting website, the organization “was established 25 years ago as Ipswich Parachute Centre and operated for many years at Ipswich Airport. The company now has two sites at Beccles and Sibson. The Beccles Drop Zone is located 15 miles south west of Norwich in the heart of rural East Anglia. The airfield we use was originally built as a USAF base in World War 2 but is now home to our own Cessna Caravan turbine aircraft. The Sibson Drop Zone is situated 5 miles from Peterborough and has great access from the A1. We are only 1 hour from central London and have our own Cessna Caravan turbine aircraft.”

The UK Parachuting team is led by Jason Thompson and Grant Richards.

Thompson has been a professional skydiver for more than 20 years. He has completed over 9,000 jumps and holds several world records. He served for 15 years in the Parachute Regiment as part of the Pathfinder Platoon where he was certified in military HALO/HAHO and Military Tandem jumps. He is currently the UK Parachuting’s Chief Instructor.

Richards has been a skydiver for more than 20 years and has completed over 8,000 jumps. He served for 22 years with the Royal Air Force as a Physical Training and Parachute Jumping Instructor. He has taught all aspects of military jumping, from static line to high altitude free fall parachuting and tandem parachuting. He is a British Parachute Association (BPA) and United States Parachute Association (USPA) accelerated free fall instructor, tandem instructor, free fall coach and canopy piloting coach. He is also a BPA parachute pilot and the Club Chief Pilot at UK Parachuting in Sibson.

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