A LOWTON woman will take part in a hair-raising skydive for the charity who have helped her nephew.
Insurance broker Shelley Benbow will leap from an aeroplane into the skies above Oxfordshire from a height of 10,000 feet and freefall for around a minute before pulling the parachute to return to Earth.
Shelley was inspired to take part in the skydive, which is part of a national event called Dare to Dive, and hopes to raise around £400 for the National Autistic Society, after seeing the help they have given her 12-year-old nephew Kyle, who suffers from the condition.
Shelley, 31, said: “I’ve done charity work before, but only selling raffle tickets and that sort of thing. I’ve never done anything like this before.
“I’m not exactly sure what made me sign up for the skydive.
“I was looking at the events on their website and there were marathons and bike rides, but I’m not into that sort of thing.
“To be honest I have been having a few second thoughts since I signed up, but I won’t back out now.”
Shelley is being supported in her skydive by her husband Terrance, 35, son Alex, two, and daughter Megan, aged six months, who will all be heading south with her for the big day. She has also received a lot of support from her parents Kevin and Valerie Davies.
She said: “My dad is so proud of me and he wants to do it himself, but he can’t because he’s diabetic.
“My mum’s a manager at a sheltered accommodation in Golborne, and she’s put notices up on the board so residents can donate if they want to. She’s also organising a quiz afternoon to raise money.”
Despite having to overcome her dislike of heights to complete the death-defying challenge, Shelley is determined to support the National Autistic Society after seeing first-hand with her nephew the problems people with autism face.
She said: “Autism is a hidden disability, so you can’t always tell when you look at a child with autism that there’s anything wrong with them.
“I know when I go out with Kyle and he starts playing up for whatever reason, people just think he’s a naughty child and it’s not the case.
“The National Autistic Society does so much work helping to raise awareness of the condition, and supports so many families up and down the country.”
For more information, or to donate, visit www.justgiving.com/ShelleyBenbow