Mar 2 2011 by Judith Tonner, Airdrie & Coatbridge
AN intrepid group of Monklands fundraisers will have their heads in the clouds as they raise more than £12,000 for Yorkhill Children’s Foundation.
Thirty volunteers from across Airdrie and Coatbridge are taking on the ultimate challenge of a 10,000ft skydive after accepting an invitation issued through social networking site Facebook.
Cairnhill woman Gillian Guy has arranged the event along with partner Ian Mann, which will see the local contingent take off from Glenrothes airfield in May.
The group members will freefall for 5000ft, travelling at a staggering 120 miles per hour, before deploying their parachutes to glide gently back to land.
Gillian said: “We can’t wait, although nobody has done anything like this before so everybody’s terrified at the same time!
“I don’t know what’s going to be best feeling between jumping out of the plane or handing over the cheque to the hospital.
“Each person has to raise at least £395 to take part, but we’re hoping that once we start organising events like bingo nights and collections, we’ll make more than that in total.”
Gillian initially launched a Facebook appeal for volunteers to fill two spaces in her originally-booked contingent of 10 skydivers.
However, she received so many responses that the venture “escalated” – and with three times that number now taking part, they have been allocated their own exclusive-use day at the Fife airfield.
The organiser said: “This was something Ian and I had always wanted to do; we wanted to do something crazy and raise funds for a good cause at the same time.
“Everybody has some kind of connection with Yorkhill as we know children who’ve been there and have been helped by the hospital.
“A friend’s son was seriously ill there and had so many operations; Yorkhill saved him and now you wouldn’t know there had been anything wrong.
“There are so many stories like that among the group, and now we just want to give something back to a great cause.”
Anyone who would like to donate to the skydivers’ fundraising effort can contact the group via Facebook, searching for “Airdrie Yorkhill skydive”.