Shebbear College pupil in spectacular charity fundraiser

Bella Richards, head pupil at Shebbear College, completed a 15,000ft skydive in aid of Devon Mind

The head pupil at Shebbear College has taken to the skies to raise funds for a local mental health charity, Devon Mind.

It was on her 18th birthday that Bella Richards completed a tandem skydive from a height of 15,000ft, securing £1,500 of sponsorship money in the process.

“[It] was my first birthday without my Uncle Evan, so I wanted to do something that would honour him and raise money for a charity in his memory,” explained Richards.

“I decided on Devon Mind because I wanted to raise awareness of mental wellbeing and much-needed funds for this charity.

“The funds raised through the generosity of friends and family will help people living in this area to access support to fight poor mental health and I am very proud to have supported this amazing charity.’”

Bella Richards undertook the skydive in honour of her late Uncle Evan

As well as the monies accrued from Richards’ aerial feat, Devon Mind will receive the £750 raised at the Shebbear College annual spring fete on the early May Day bank holiday. After two years lost to Covid, the popular event returned with pupil-run stalls and activities, the highlight being a widely enjoyed dog show.

“I will never forget this experience,” said Richards, after she returned to Earth. “I had always wanted to do a skydive, but nothing prepared me for the mix of emotions that I felt during the day.

“The most nerve-wracking part was when the plane door opened. However, this was also the most exciting part, as I knew that I had to do it. The feeling of complete weightlessness when in freefall is like no other, and the beauty of being above the clouds was breathtaking.

“This was quickly followed by lots of laughter and screaming when the parachute opened and I began my descent through the clouds.”

In other charity news: St Swithun’s young activist selected as UNICEF youth advisor

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