Plane crazy! Reluctant daredevil Ryan faces ‘worst fear’ to skydive for Stonepillow fundraiser

Stonepillow Braves

A team of would-be high-fliers is ready to reach for the sky to raise money for a homeless charity in Chichester.

The group of daredevils will take a leap of faith from a light aircraft and plummet 12,000 feet to earth in a sponsored skydive for Stonepillow.

Ryan Ewen, head of digital of FMG Ltd (owners of Chichester News), will overcome his biggest fear to make the jump — but he has ensured he will overcome his trepidation with the help of other brave souls.

For he has recruited 24 other jumpers who will don a parachute to take part, and each aim to raise £400 each in the process.

Ryan, pictured far right in our snap along with FMG colleagues, brother Alex and trainee journalist Josh Burford, said: “It’s my worst fear but I have to overcome it to help with the fundraising effort for such a deserving cause. Luckily, friends and colleague don’t want me to suffer alone and are doing the skydive, too.

“If the fundraising goes to plan we’ll be able to significantly boost the money needed for Stonepillow. I’d urge individuals and businesses to get involved!”

The skydive has been organised by Stonepillow to raise £100,000 to fund a new hostel in Bognor Regis. Stonepillow needs to raise the money to allow the new Bognor venue to be open 24 hours a day.

Skydivers are being urged to take on the “ultimate challenge of a lifetime and skydive for Stonepillow for just £50!” The event takes place on Saturday 21st April at GoSkydive, Old Sarum Park, in Salisbury.

Laura Bulbeck, from Stonepillow, explained: “There is a £50 registration fee to secure your place and then a minimum of £395 sponsorship. If you reach this target, it will mean Stonepillow receive a minimum donation of £220 and you get to jump for free!

“If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, a feeling of freedom and an incredible sense of accomplishment, pretty much nothing on earth beats tandem skydiving! Your donation can change someone’s life. It could be the spark of hope which makes them feel like life is worth living.

“Homelessness has increased by 30 per cent in the last year alone. We are opening a new and improved hostel in Bognor Regis in April 2018 with increased bed spaces but similar to the service we are currently providing, it will only be open in the evenings.

“There is a real need for support to be available seven days a week. We want to meet this need by providing a 24-hour hostel, seven days a week, 365 days a year but to do that we need your help.

“The average age of death for a homeless person is 47. No one should have to sleep on the streets. We are the only hostel provision for homeless people in Arun so we cover a large geographical area. There are substantial benefits offered to clients when the provision is 24/7.

“The new Bognor hostel will provide short-term accommodation with support in a safe and stable environment for 14 residents.

“It will act as the primary accommodation response to rough sleeping and homeless individuals within the local community, assessing housing needs, as well as working with an individual’s, often complex, issues.”


About the Author

Carl Eldridge
Carl Eldridge is a hugely experienced journalist who has worked on local and national newspapers, magazines and written for websites over the past 30 years. He lives in Bognor Regis with his wife and son. And he is a life-long Arsenal fan.