When WAY member Laurent Lucas shared on Facebook that he was scared of heights, he never imagined that nine months later he might actually be jumping out of an aeroplane to help conquer his fears. And all in aid of WAY…
His original Facebook post set off a chain of events that eventually persuaded him to sign up for a tandem skydive with fellow WAYer Jannine Silver to raise funds for WAY.
The original jump in April was cancelled due to Covid but was rescheduled for July! The daring duo touched down on Saturday, 11 July in Salisbury, Dorset. And they have raised more than £2,500 for WAY in the process.
Laurent told us: "We did it!! Thank you so much to all of you for bearing with us during the lockdown, and for your amazing support. We raised more than £2,500 and the money is still coming! It was an awesome experience, not as scary as I thought, I just decided to enjoy the moment to the full, and it was well worth it! Looking down at the ground felt unreal in some ways. So far down. The free-fall was very noisy, but liberating, and then when the parachute opened it just went quiet, and I just enjoyed the view. Truly amazing! And it feels so good to have raised so much money for WAY which will go towards helping other widows and widowers. Thank you so much to everyone who donated and all our friends who came to the airfield on Saturday to support us from the ground. After 4 years, I feel like I'm a bit further in my journey into widowhood now, and don't need as much support anymore. I try to share my thoughts and support to others from my experience, and this was an amazing way to help!”
Laurent told us why he took the plunge.
“I’ve been widowed for 4 years and only joined WAY after 2 years, but it has been very helpful, being able to share my story, my concerns, my daily struggles with like-minded people who understand and will not judge. It feels like a very safe place to share. And it works both ways. Sometimes you need support and advice, sometimes your experience allows you to support and advise other members. I’ve made great friendships along the way too, either in person through the WAY Dorset group in particular, but also virtual friendships through messaging members I’ve never actually met.”
Jannine added: “I have been widowed now for just over one year. My husband’s death was not expected at all so the shock of it was horrendous at first. I joined WAY within the first 5 weeks. I was fortunate enough to have been told about it by a couple of people. I would not be here today or have come as far as I have without the support of the friendships I have found through WAY. So it was a given that if Laurent and I were going to face our fears then WAY should benefit from us doing so.”
Huge thanks to Laurent and Jannine for facing their fears to raise funds for the charity that has been such a lifeline for them both.
It's not too late to show your support for them here...