Daredevil ‘dragons’ take to the skies for charity jump

Abi Bennett, 24, gets set for her skydive on Sunday, October 5 at Dunkeswell airfield in aid of Pete

Abi Bennett, 24, gets set for her skydive on Sunday, October 5 at Dunkeswell airfield in aid of Pete's Dragon charity. Ref shs 3870-36-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

Drum roll please for a Sidmouth musician as she prepares to jump out of a plane at 15,000 feet in the name of charity.

Abi Bennett, 24, who plays in Devon’s Street Heat Samba band, will do the tandem skydive at Dunkeswell Airfield, Honiton, on Sunday, October 5, to raise money for the Pete’s Dragons team.

It is the biggest fundraising event yet for the local charity that was set up by the family and friends of Peter Wicks to thank organisations involved in helping and supporting them following his death in 2010.

Cornwall Search and Rescue Team and the Samaritans will be the joint beneficiaries of the skydive challenge.

Abi was inspired to take part by fellow band member, Elliot, who was Peter’s nephew. She has so far raised £462 for the cause, but she is not stopping there.

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“I am looking forward to hopefully raising lots of money for these fantastic causes,” she said.

Since their formation, Pete’s Dragons have undertaken a number of challenges to raise money for their chosen charities, including marathon cycle rides, bungee jumping and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

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Now, this latest mission will see 37 ‘dragons’ voluntarily taking to the skies, ready to fall at around 135 miles per hour to the ground.

“I’m quite excited about it, but I have had people telling me stories of things that have gone wrong before,” said Abi about her first ever skydive. “It’s for someone I know and it’s for a good cause, so what better way to do something I have always wanted to do.”

Alison Hill, founder of Pete’s Dragons, said: “The dragons evolved from a desire to thank the charities involved in searching for my missing brother and supporting us after his death.

“While that is still the heart of what we do, we now pride ourselves on also inspiring, supporting and celebrating the achievement of our dragons’ personal challenges as they conquer their limitations and achieve their goals.”

A section of the samba band will be making a guest appearance on the day to welcome the daredevil ‘dragons’ down to the ground.

To donate to Abi’s fundraising pot and read more about the dragons’ story, click: http://www.petesdragons.org.uk/Core/PetesDragons/Pages/Your_opportunity_to_donate!_1.aspx.

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