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VIDEO: Kendal pupil completes skydive to raise £1,500 for charity
A KENDAL sixth form pupil has overcome his biggest fear to raise £1,500 in memory of two local youngsters.
Matt Wightman, 16, of Lingmoor Rise, Kendal, completed a skydive over Flookburgh to pull in cash for Help for Heroes and Furness-based self-harm charity, SAFA.
He chose the charities after being touched by the deaths of soldier, Ryan Ward, and schoolgirl, Helena Farrell, who both studied at Kirkbie Kendal School, where he attends the sixth form.
He said: "It was terrifying.
"I was sat on the edge of the plane and I couldn't believe it was me. I was like 'what am I doing?'
"I put my head back and just went for it. It was the most surreal thing I've ever done. It was amazing.
"I probably wouldn't do it again though!"
He explained that he got the idea after deciding to create something positive out of the deaths of his classmates.
He said: “There’s been a lot of sadness at school and we wanted to try and do something good instead.”
Mr Ward died last year, aged 20, after returning home from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Ms Farrell died in January, aged 15. Her body was found in Kendal woodland.
After Mr Ward’s death, his family asked for donations to Help for Heroes, while Ms Farrell’s family asked for donations to SAFA.
“Everyone knows what happened and has talked about it,” continued Matt.
“The amount of people that turned out to the castle event for Helena and for Ryan Ward’s funeral - it was nearly the whole school came out to say goodbye.
“So I wanted to do something in their memory that would be positive and also for a good cause.”
The event cost £230 which he paid out of his own money.
He completed the skydive on Sunday and has so far raised a staggering £1,500.
Now Bootleggers, in Kendal, has agreed to let Mr Wightman hold a DJ event at its premises, so that he can get the total amount raised up to £2,000.
The event, featuring local DJ, Callum Sill, will be held in April 10. Anybody who wants information or tickets is asked to contact Mr Wightman on Facebook, by searching for ‘Matt Wightman skydive’.
Tickets can also be bought on the door for £3.