Static line skydive at 3,500ft to support a friend’s charity

Dawn Tottle, left, and Bill Saunders safely back on terra firma after their skydive
Dawn Tottle, left, and Bill Saunders safely back on terra firma after their skydive
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PEOPLE do some crazy things for charity, whether it’s baking a cake, shaving their heads or making themselves look like a fool – all for a good cause.

For one married couple their preferred method was to launch themselves out of a plane at 3,500ft.

Dawn Tottle and husband Bill Saunders took part in a static line skydive, raising money for the Fareham charity Autism Isolation No More.

Unlike your normal skydive, a static line jump is an independent dive where your parachute is released as soon as you exit the plane.

Bill and Dawn, from Gudge Heath Lane, Fareham, had to undergo seven hours of intense safety training before the instructors gave them the go-ahead to jump.

Rather than raising money to do the skydive, the pair paid for the jump in Old Sarum Park in Salisbury themselves so that every penny they collected went straight to the charity.

The pair chose Autism Isolation No More because they have friends and family who have been diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum.

It is also run by a friend of Dawn’s, Rachael Hodson, who like Dawn has relatives on the spectrum and wanted to provide people with a better understanding of autism.

Dawn said: ‘We have always wanted to do this kind of jump and to do it for a friend’s charity is a great way to show support.

‘We’ve done skydives before but this was a completely different kettle of fish.

‘Before we went up Bill was really excited but I was absolutely terrified.’

The charity is totally independent and aims to provide children with autism with a safe and secure environment where they can truly be themselves.

Rachael said: ‘I am a mother, sibling and friend to people who are on the autistic spectrum so it has been part of my whole life.

‘I saw my mum struggle due to the lack of support and that was something that resonated with me and I knew I wanted to help people.’