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DOZENS of people took part in a skydive on Sunday (20 May 2018) and raised vital funds for Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

The team of 40 jumpers jumped out of a plane from 10,000 or 15,000 feet at Old Sarum airfield, Salisbury, in tandem with a professional skydiver. So far, they have raised an incredible £13,228 for the charity.

Family, friends and colleagues of people who had been airlifted or treated by Wiltshire Air Ambulance were among the jumpers, including mother-of-two Sophie Lambert, 26, of Calne. Sophie’s father, Neil Lambert, was airlifted after he was injured in a cycling accident near Marlborough in 2012.

Sophie, who works as a housekeeper, said: “The skydive was amazing and I wanted to support Wiltshire Air Ambulance because they saved my dad’s life. Without them I wouldn’t have my dad and my children wouldn’t have their grandad.”

Georgina Davies, 47, and her step-daughter, Charlotte Rose, 18, of Melksham, were also among the jumpers. Georgina, who works as a receptionist at the Giffords Surgery in Melksham, said: “I’ve had first-hand experience of the excellent work that Wiltshire Air Ambulance does when they attended a patient who had suffered serious injuries in a road accident.”

Charlotte, a student at Melksham Oak School, said: “Wiltshire Air Ambulance is a very underrated charity, I don’t think a lot of people know what they do and that they are funded by donations. We really enjoyed the skydive, the instructors were so good.”

Another supporter Bill Dowdell, of Salisbury, also took part in the skydive – on his 71st birthday.

He said: “I’ve always wanted to do a skydive and it was a very enjoyable experience. I play Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s Lottery and I think the charity does a very important job. It’s nice to help it.”

The skydivers also included Wiltshire Air Ambulance staff Claire Kelly and Barbara Gray and volunteers Stewart Ackland, John Collins and Lisa Slater.

Kenresa Stratford, Fundraising and Events Coordinator at Wiltshire Air Ambulance, said: “We are so proud of our team of skydivers for taking the plunge and raising a fantastic amount, which will help to keep our air ambulance in the skies and saving lives.

“As well as individual supporters, we also had employees from corporate supporters, Cereal Partners UK, Dalehead Foods and Kavanaghs Estate Agents. We’d like to thank everyone who took part and for making this skydive one of our most successful ever.

“If anyone is interested in undertaking a skydive in the future for Wiltshire Air Ambulance, please get in touch by emailing or calling the charity team on 01225 300536.”

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