Bletchingley headmaster and parent take the plunge

First published in News

Watch the skies was the message to pupils of Bletchingley's Hawthorns School recently, when their headmaster and a parent turned skydivers.

Tim Johns and Hawthorns parent Tabitha Jackson jumped out of a plane at 12,500 ft for a parachute jump with an initial freefall at more than 130mph.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Johns admitted he had had to deal with a few nerve-wracking minutes but, once it was all over, he said he felt “exhilarated, energised and extraordinary.”

He continued: “The instructors were friendly and understanding and the views were truly breath-taking. It was a real test of trust and teamwork.”

Nicknamed The Hawthorns T-Birds, the pair bravely took the plunge to raise money for the Reigate and Redhill YMCA, and through sponsorship from parents and pupils, as well as family and friends, raised nearly £1,500.

They chose the charity because of its work and various projects with the area's young people, including helping disabled students, carers, disadvantaged teenagers and homeless youngsters.

But the school also has another link with the cause.

The local YMCA branch was started by Kenneth Knight, the grandparent of a Hawthorns School pupil, back in 1946.

Mr Knight went on to receive an MBE for his work with young people.

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