Fundraisers take the leap for new Bognor hostel

Fundraisers Claire, Sacha, Chloe,Jess, Saul and Bonny
Fundraisers Claire, Sacha, Chloe,Jess, Saul and Bonny

Fundraisers took the leap of faith on Saturday to raise vital cash for Stonepillow’s new Bognor hostel.

The event, at GoSkydive in Salisbury, saw 13 people take part and the total raised so far is £8,360.51.

Tim Jeary in free fall

Tim Jeary in free fall

Among the brave group of skydivers was Stonepillow client Saul, who is currently a resident at Stonepillow’s Recovery Service.

Saul, who raised more than £700 by taking part, said: “I really wanted to take this opportunity to give back to Stonepillow.

“If I can achieve this in 107 days of being clean and sober, just think what I can do in 365 days.”

It was a big day for Saul, who not only faced his fear of heights but was also reunited with his father, who he had not seen for seven years.

Mrs M with Tom

Mrs M with Tom

Stonepillow volunteer Katharine Minchin, 73, nicknamed ‘Mrs M’ by clients, also took part and raised an impressive £4,500 – smashing her target of £1,000.

She said: “I am overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of all those who supported my insanity.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to all my friends and family who have helped me collect this wonderful sum of money.”

Asked if she enjoyed the skydiving challenge, Katharine said: “I will never do it again, no matter how much money people want to give me.”

The funds will go towards the £98,000 needed for Stonepillow’s new hostel in Bognor, which is due to open next month.

Laura Bulbeck, the homeless charity’s PR and events manager, said: “We are so grateful to everyone who took part, it was such a fantastic day.

To find out more about the hostel and Stonepillow’s work, or to take part in one of their events, contact lbulbeck@stonepillow.org.uk or visit www.stonepillow.org.uk. Altenatively donate to the new hostel campaign by texting ‘HSTL24 and your chosen amount’ to 70070.

For more on the story see tomorrow’s Observer.