July 07, 2016

Parents and friends of Dingley’s West Berkshire Centre raised an incredible total of £6,645 for the Centre’s funds on 3rd July.

Picture this……  You have had a lovely Christmas meal, surrounded by your family and friends.  You have enjoyed the odd glass of Christmas cheer and you find yourself thinking about the year ahead, and what you might do to make a difference.

Richard Lardner, whose daughter Isabella attends the Dingley Centre at West Berkshire (Newbury) was in that position last Christmas and, after realising that he wanted to make a big difference – he decided to raise some money for Dingley’s West Berkshire Centre by “doing something out of my comfort zone” !

The decision was to jump from a plane and complete a tandem sky dive jump!  Richard then started to talk to his friends and some other parents – and before he knew what had happened, he had a group of 11 other parents and friends joining him in this challenge and fundraising – and the date was set!

On Sunday 3rd July, in the clear blue skies over Old Sarum airfield, near Salisbury – 10 of the group gathered to complete their challenge.  Richard was accompanied in this challenge by his sister Sarah Lardner, friends Mark Savory, Emma Marney, Charlie Gordon and Simon Wooldridge.  Fellow jumpers were Charlie Kowalski and Tara Anderson whose sons, Freddie and Louis, also attend Dingley. Also jumping were Carolyn Sykes who was formerly the massage therapist for Dingley and Rosie Kirby, who looks after Isabella at her other nursery Little Rainbows in Hungerford.  Two other jumpers, Daniel Thomas and Trudi Collins, were unable to jump this weekend, so they made their jump in June.

“Words cannot express how thankful I am to my fellow sky divers, our supporters and our sponsors.” said Richard. “I never imagined raising so much money for such a wonderful charity that is so close to my heart. As more and more people joined the sky dive team our group target became bigger and bigger – well the initial £4,200 has been blown out of the water. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported us, raising £6,645 is going to make such a huge difference to the children at Dingley’s Promise – West Berks. It was an emotional experience and a brilliant one at that. People have been asking would I do it again, and I think I speak on behalf of all of the team in saying ‘yes’ we all would.”

Later in the day, when all the jumps were completed and everyone was safely back on land, the Sky Divers presented a cheque for £6,445 to the Centre Manager, Louise Farmer – followed by cake (made by Richard’s wife Sarah-Jane) and a well-earned glass of bubbly!

“This is an amazing amount of money for the work of the Centre” said Louise.  “We already have an idea for a project with another local company who is supporting us; and we hope to be able to create something amazing at the Centre, which will be a permanent reminder to everybody of the life-changing difference that this will make for children at Dingley.”

If you are thinking that you would like to undertake a challenge to raise funds for Dingley, get in touch with our Fundraising Manager, Janice Powell, who would love to hear from you.  janice.powell@dingley.org.uk

Skydive 1

Parents, Friends and Children of Dingley West Berkshire

Skydive 2

Group Leader and Dingley Dad, Richard Lardner – and the plane they jumped out of !

Skydive 3

Another Dingley Dad, Charlie Kowalski, also jumped

Skydive 4

The fabulous cake – made by Richard’s wife, Sarah-Jane Lardner – and bubbly !

Skydive 5

The jumpers, presenting their fundraising cheque to Louise Farmer (Centre Manager at Dingley, West Berks)

L to R they are:  Simon Wooldridge, Mark Savory, Emma Marney, Tara Anderson, Carolyn Sykes, Louise, Sarah Lardner, Rosie Kirby, Charlie Kowalski, Charlie Gordon and Richard Lardner