“I thought if I’m going to chuck myself out of a plane, I’m going to do it for charity so that someone gets some benefit of me jumping out of a plane.”

It was third time lucky for this adventure! Henshaws supporter Susan Ryles completed a sponsored skydive in September to raise money for Henshaws in memory of her grandparents, and tells us in her own words about her fundraising experience. 

“I’m Susan Ryles, I’m 36 years old and I work at the University of Manchester. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, going on weekends away, socialising, theatre trips etc., and I try and keep a little bit fit in order to help with my food and drink habit!  And it was a night out with friends that led me to my charity skydive for Henshaws….

Hmm, note to self – do not agree to do a skydive in front of witnesses and after I’ve had a couple of wines!  I guess my friend saw me coming and grabbed the opportunity to rope me into doing a skydive. Once I’d said yes, that was it, I wasn’t going to forget it and was sent numerous links to skydiving websites. Next thing I know, we’re booked in – eeek! Then I thought if I’m going to chuck myself out of a plane, I’m going to do it for charity so that someone gets some benefit of me jumping out of a plane!

I had a chat with my Mum and Dad about who to receive sponsors for and we chose Henshaws. Henshaws was a charity that was very close to both my Gran and Grandad’s hearts, and when they were alive they always supported and sent donations to them. So I thought what better choice than to continue to support Henshaws in their memory.

So, charity chosen, I set up my JustGiving page and the support I received was phenomenal!  I received donations straight away and lots of good luck messages, some saying I was crazy and very brave – I’m not sure which was correct!

The support from Henshaws was fantastic, especially from Hettie. When I received her first email, I thought how lovely for someone to take the time to write and thank me for what I was doing, and I definitely knew I had chosen the right charity. The continued support and good luck messages were absolutely amazing and I felt proud to be supporting Henshaws.

So the skydive was booked and donations were rolling in, I just had to go ahead with it now. Easy. Unfortunately, the first attempts were cancelled due to poor weather conditions… typical British weather! So was it to be third time lucky for my skydive.

Image of Susan during her skydive for Henshaws, smiling and giving a thumbs up to the camera.

On the 27th September, the weather was gorgeous, clear blue sky with the sun shining, it couldn’t have been a better day for a skydive, and with my Henshaws t-shirt on – I did it!

It was absolutely amazing and such a fantastic experience, and would definitely do it again! And knowing that I’d done it for such an amazing charity and received so much support for it, made it even more worthwhile.

A tally of my fundraising came to £650.63 for Henshaws, which I’m very proud of as I’m sure my Gran and Grandad would have been too.

Here’s to the next challenge… maybe!”

If you’re interested in taking part in fundraising, we’d love to hear from you! Contact our friendly fundraising team for more info and support on 0161 786 3656 or at fundraising@henshaws.org.uk.

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Sophie is the Community Services & Digital Communications Manager, and is responsible for marketing Henshaws Community Services and managing the online content.