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Skydivers raise £3,300 for Grove Cottage, the home of Bishop's Stortford Mencap

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Six thrillseekers with a head for heights took to the skies to raise £3,300 for local Mencap group Grove Cottage.

The group were the latest to tick off a tandem skydive from their bucket lists, plunging from 13,000ft and enjoying the thrill of a 120mph freefall before their parachutes were deployed and they floated back down to earth.

Teenagers Nick Botha and Nellie Eastland, both 17, were among those to take part. Nick, who volunteers every week with Grove Cottage's Tuesday night youth club, said: "The skydive was amazing and I feel so privileged to have contributed to such a fantastic sum of money raised for Grove Cottage.

Grove Cottage skydivers (24191252)
Grove Cottage skydivers (24191252)

"Without donations and fundraising like this, Grove Cottage would not be able to run, which would be devastating for so many children and adults with learning disabilities.

"I want to give these children and adults equal opportunities to socialise and gain confidence, and fundraising for the skydiving has been an utterly rewarding and amazing experience."

Father, son and daughter trio David, William and Emily Bide also took part. David, 51, decided to sign up after his wife Nicki skydived as part of her 40th birthday celebrations a few years ago.

"The jump was completely exhilarating and I'm so proud we have raised such an incredible amount for Grove Cottage," he said.

The charity's next skydive is on Sunday, April 26, with David adding: "I would encourage anyone considering a skydive to get in touch with Grove Cottage and help to support this vital and worthwhile local charity in Bishop's Stortford."

Grove Cottage community fundraiser Nicky Hastler said: "We are so extremely grateful to the team that took on this amazing challenge and really cannot thank them enough for their support.

"We would urge anyone who is interested in taking on a similar challenge for Grove Cottage to get in touch as we have a calendar full of sponsored cycles, runs, skydives and treks."

To find out more, email events@mencapgrovecottage.org or call 01279 651908.

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