Great grandmother to take leap of faith for charity

Judith Snow (79) is getting ready to skydive for the Beccles First Responder Ambulance.PHOTO: Nick B

Judith Snow (79) is getting ready to skydive for the Beccles First Responder Ambulance.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

When the time came for Beccles Indoor Bowls Club to choose an annual charity to raise funds for, intrepid ladies president Judi Ackland-Snow decided to think outside the box.

The 79-year-old great grandmother is parachuting out of a plane next weekend at Ellough Airfield to raise money for the Bungay and Beccles First Responders.

And despite her lack of skydiving experience, Mrs Ackland-Snow is ready to take the plunge.

“Even though I’ve never sky dived before, I think they know what they’re doing and I put my trust in them,” she said.

Along with putting her trust in the sky diving team, she also has faith in the group she chose to help raise money for. Beccles and Bungay First Responders are made up entirely of community volunteers who are despatched by the ambulance service to urgent 999 calls anywhere within three miles of the two towns.

Though the volunteers are trained by the NHS and operate under the East of England Ambulance NHS Trust, they don’t receive any funding from the healthcare giant.

This means the cost of their safety clothing and kits, including an AED which alone costs roughly £2,000, have to be paid for by donations or the group itself.

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As it stands now, this lifesaving equipment is largely bought by group members and shared among volunteers. Mrs Ackland-Snow said: “The group is self-funded and my husband worked for the London Ambulance Service for 32 years, so I think this kind of service is really necessary. It’s a great cause and anyone at any time could need their help. They’re on call for anyone who ever needs it.”

She hopes her extended family and friends will help sponsor the dive, even though they might not want to step into her shoes.

“My grandchildren and the other members of the bowls club think I’m a bit mad, but nevertheless I’m going to do it,” she said.

A representative from First Responders will be at the airfield next Sunday cheering her on and at the club on a later date to accept a cheque with all the money raised. To add to the funds, a quiz night is being held on October 29 at the bowls club in Common Lane.

Anyone interested in sponsoring Mrs Ackland-Snow can do so at the club or call 01502 713549.