Mayor takes leap of faith to support Woking Mind

THE Mayor of Woking marked World Mental Health Day last Sunday with a skydive from 15,000 feet to raisefunds for Woking Mind, his mayoral charity.

SPREADING THE WORD – The Mayor of Woking, Cllr Liam Lyons, completed a charity skydive to raise funds for his mayoral charity. Picture: Jordan Bridge

Cllr Liam Lyons joined a ten-strong team of Woking MIND staff, volunteers, and supporters aged from 21 to 74 as they raised almost £10,000, which will go towards free mental health support services for people living in Surrey.

The tandem skydives, in which the skydiver is harnessed to an instructor, took place at Dunkeswell Airfield in Honiton, Devon. The skydive included a 60-second freefall before a canopy ride above the Blackdown Hills into the drop zone.

LEAP INTO THE UNKNOWN – Mandy Dhingra hurls herself from the aircraft to confront her fear of heights

“I must admit I was pretty apprehensive as the plane took off, and even more so as the side doors were opened at 15,000 feet,” Cllr Lyons said.

“But once my instructor threw us both out of the aircraft, it was enormous fun. I saw some great views of Devon rushing past me, and the landing was very smooth.

“Most of all, we are still accepting donations of sponsorship for Woking Mind, a really worthy cause which benefits so many vulnerable people in Woking and elsewhere in Surrey.”

Mandy Dhingra, marketing and fundraising director for the charity and one of the skydiving team, added:“It was the most surreal experience, from being a bundle of nerves and fear to feeling a sense of achievement. I’m absolutely petrified of heights!

“Never would I have skydived it wasn’t for the genuine impact of Woking Mind’s support on people’s lives that I see every day.”

BLUE SKY THINKING – Woking Mind supporter Chloe Thomas described the skydive as “a blast”, although her instructor seems less convinced

* CLLR Lyons personally covered the cost of his skydive so any money donated (plus Gift Aid, if appropriate) will go directly to Woking Mind. To sponsor him, visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/skydivingmayor. To sponsor Mandy, visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/wokingmindskydive.

If you or someone you know is feeling lonely, anxious, or struggling with their mental health, contact Woking Mind on 07860 340 739, or visit www.wokingmind.org.uk for more information.

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