A WOKING postal worker is tackling a 15,000ft skydive next month in memory of a young colleague who took his own life.

Lynda Hughes was inspired to raise money for the mental health charity MIND after hearing of the death of Josh Croft in May this year at the age of just 26.

She will make the skydive a week on Sunday (29 August) at Old Sarum Airfield, near Salisbury.

“About four years ago I did a 10,000ft skydive and said I wanted to do the 15,000ft version when I turned 50, which was this year,” said Lynda.

“Then when we heard the news about Josh, I knew I wanted to do something to help raise awareness of mental health and bring in funds for the charity which he supported. 

“I’ve had personal experience of trying to access help for mental health with young family members and know how difficult it is to get the right assistance and support.

“Josh was always joking and laughing at work and very rarely did you see him without a smile. We need to recognise that what people show on the outside is not always what they are experiencing on the inside.

“His friends and colleagues tried to support his family at the funeral, and my colleagues and I arranged for more than 20 Royal Mail vans to follow him on his final journey from home to the crematorium.” 

Lynda’s efforts have been welcomed by Josh’s mum, Carole. “Josh was a lovely and talented young man,” she said. “He had struggled with mental health problems for some time and when he took his own life we were devastated.

“His friends at Woking Delivery Office were there for us right from the start. They supported and helped us and we are very grateful to them.

“They also raised more than £450 for MIND, one of Josh’s favourite charities, in the weeks after his death. 

“Lynda’s skydive in aid of this charity is a wonderful gesture and we hope that the funds will all go to support local mental health services in the area.  Josh would have been very proud.”

The skydive, in which Lynda will be harnessed to an instructor, will involve a minute of freefall although, with a 7am start time, she at least will not have too long to think about it.

Lynda has already raised almost double her £200 target, and the balance will increase further thanks to her employer.

“The Post Office will match any funds raised up to £200, so that will be another boost,” she said.

To donate, visit https://sponsorme.charitiestrust.org and search for Lynda Hughes. For more information and support on mental health, visit www.mind.org.uk.