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Leap of faith for St Martins team members

St Martins team members are preparing to jump 13,000 foot out of a plane to raise money to support homeless people in Norwich.

For the majority of the team it is their first charity jump – and one of them has never even been in an aeroplane before!

The skydive will take place on September 6 at Beccles airfield. Support worker Steven Hansby-Moore has signed up to the jump. He said, “This is a real challenge for me – and a little terrifying! I love working for St Martins and want to raise some money by doing something out of my comfort zone. I know what a difference a bit of extra cash can make to the charity so I want to do what I can to improve the lives of the people we support.”

Steve and the other skydivers work at Webster Court, a residential service for people over the age of 50 who have been homeless at some point in their lives. Webster Court is the only service in Norfolk that caters for this client group, many of whom are frail and have limited mobility. The service aims to provide a place of tranquillity and safety for people towards the end of their lives.

Several team members will be joining Steve for the jump. The money raised will be used to purchase some much-needed garden furniture for the residents. Steve said, “The courtyard garden is well stocked with plants in the raised beds and a beautiful water feature. It’s a place our residents really appreciate. New garden furniture will enable them to can sit in comfort and enjoy it.”

Chief Executive Dr Jan Sheldon said, “I am very proud of the team to take it upon themselves to raise money. I’d like to thank them for taking part and to all those who have supported them.”

Cathryn’s skydiving story

Cathryn Jones, 29 volunteers at St Martins’ training centre ‘Under 1 Roof’ on Westwick Street in Norwich. Formerly, Cathryn was a member of Bridges, a drop-in service based at the training centre which offers support to people with enduring mental illness. Both Bridges and Under 1 Roof are an important part of the charity’s homelessness prevention work.

To begin with Cathryn mainly enjoyed the weekly choir sessions as a participant of the service, but before long she was offered the opportunity to volunteer on the reception desk. This was a challenge for Cathryn, who admits she was nervous at first and lacked confidence. She said, “I’ve learnt new things, like computer skills, and my ability to communicate has increased too. St Martins has helped me to challenge myself and go out of my comfort zone.  I’m a lot more confident now, especially answering the phone.”

Cathryn bravely decided she wanted to do something different to celebrate her 30th birthday, so she chose skydiving, despite the fact that she has never been in an aeroplane before.  It’s something that until recently she would never have contemplated, but with her new-found confidence, she thought it would be a good opportunity to raise money for St Martins, a charity very close to her heart.

Longer-term, Cathryn would like to find paid employment in a caring role.  In the meantime she enjoys helping people at Under 1 Roof, being a calm and friendly person to greet people when they come in.  Talking about her voluntary work and the difference it makes, Cathryn said, “People come in and are respected.  It shows them that they matter and they feel valued.  The activities at Under 1 Roof help our members to develop life skills like cooking, and they help with wellbeing too.  People leave feeling better than when they came in.”

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