Jan Hawkins-Kitson, who works for BCHA’s Bournemouth Domestic Abuse Service, marked her 60th birthday by completing a 15,000ft tandem skydive to raise money for the Women’s Refuge where she works.
Jan, who has worked at BCHA for 4 years, signed up to do the skydive after approaching the Red Devils at the Bournemouth Air Show. Jan said, “I got involved by asking the Red Devils at Bournemouth Air show how I would go about jumping with them and they told me how to go about it. I went home that night and signed up.”
Jan’s started at BCHA, the Bournemouth-based housing and support provider, by volunteering at its Women’s Refuge in Poole, and within 6 months she had been accepted as a Relief Worker and immediately seconded over to the Bournemouth Women’s Refuge.
Jan wanted to use the skydive as an opportunity to raise money for the refuge, which provides accommodation for up to 18 women and up to 25 children, providing support services including tenancies, welfare benefits, overcoming the effects of living with domestic abuse and violence, maintaining accommodation and school placements.
One in four women will be affected by domestic abuse in their lifetime and BCHA helps these women to find the courage they need to leave an abusive situation and we can provide people with the support they need to regain confidence and rebuild their lives.
Jan explains, “I love my work and I have a passion for the refuge and for helping families who have been affected by Domestic Abuse. I self-funded the skydive for my 60th birthday, so any other money raised will go straight to refuge, as I would like to help to make Christmas better for the families who will be living here at the time.”
The skydive, which was organised through Go Skydive, took place at Salisbury Airfield and Jan experienced an adrenaline-pumping 15,000ft (2.8 miles) jump from a plane offering 60 seconds of freefall. Jan said, “The experience was amazing from start to finish and my admiration for the Red Devils is immense, when you consider what they do as a “real job”. I saw a video where the Red Devils jumped out of the plane headfirst and I spoke to my instructor Mike about this. He asked me if I wanted to do it and I said yes and it was absolutely the right decision.”
Jan is hopeful that she can achieve a few more donations for the refuge via her Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/bcha/skydive
“Families affected by Domestic Abuse often arrive at Christmas with nothing and Christmas is a very difficult time at refuge so we try to make it the best that we can for the children”, adds Jan, “I am hoping that the money raised will go some way to achieve this.”