Cliff jumpers raise over £1,000 for 2022 Festival

Posted: 13th September 2017

On 3rd September, Loughborough Freemasons Tony Andrews and Digby Lund launched themselves off a cliff in Malaga to raise money for Leicestershire and Rutland’s 2022 Festival. The pair were joined by Digby’s wife, Yvonne, while Tony’s wife, Elanor, joined them for moral support.

Upon arrival at Almunecar, they were met by their pilots, Antonio and Jose, who arrived by air demonstrating how best to land. The intrepid trio were then taken up into the hills via a single track road with numerous hairpin bends. Having arranged the wing, the pilots set about strapping themselves and their guests into their harnesses after which a full safety briefing was given. They were then told to simply run down the slope until the ground fell away.

The flights down were very smooth, with Digby’s flight showing the advantage of being taller than Antonio when taking off from such a steep slope. A couple of steps and then into the blue yonder with amazing views out to sea and along the coast.

Tony said: “We were all lucky enough to have relatively good landings; though I did collect a lot of the beach in my shoes and some in my knees!”

Digby said: “Having all safely returned to terraferma, we exchanged feelings about our flights; the heightened heart rate before and during takeoff, the gradual relaxing as the flight continued and then the increasing tension as the ground rapidly approached. We all agreed the venture was well worthwhile and hope the donations will fully reflect our efforts.”

The Provincial Grand Master, David Hagger, said: “Congratulations to Digby and Tony for their fundraising efforts; I am pleased to learn they landed safely without harm.”

Watch the paragliders in action

The 2022 Festival aims to raise £1.8 million for the Masonic Charitable Foundation over the next 5 years.

You can still sponsor Digby and Tony here >>

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Marks & Spencer pledges to raise £25m for charity over eight years

The retailer has set out a new strategy also promising provision of one million staff volunteering hours over the same period

The retailer Marks & Spencer has pledged to raise £25m for charity, provide one million staff volunteering hours and make £1m available to community businesses in partnership with the charitable trust Power to Change.

The retailer’s sustainability scheme, called Plan A 2025 and launched today, will focus on three key strands over the next eight years: health, environmental concerns and transforming communities and lives.

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M&S said it hoped to raise the money for charities tackling cancer, heart disease, mental health problems, loneliness and dementia, including Breast Cancer Now, Macmillan Cancer Support and the mental health charity Frazzled Cafe by 2025. It will reveal how the money is to be raised later in the year.

Power to Change will be one of the retailer’s partners for one of the plan’s key commitments – a pilot programme working with local councils and charity partners to deliver measurable change through supporting community businesses.

M&S has identified 10 areas where it has a presence and that have social problems the retailer believes it can help to deal with for the pilot programme.

The areas are Birmingham, Norwich, Liverpool, Middlesbrough, Rochdale, Newham in east London, Bradford, Glasgow, Londonderry/Derry and Merthyr Tydfil.

Power to Change will support the three-year pilot programme in the seven locations in England by speaking to local voluntary sector organisations to assess what is needed and which community organisations and businesses can be supported.

The trust will make £1m from its Big Lottery Fund endowment available to support community business through the scheme, and M&S staff will provides skills and mentoring in retail, customer research, marketing, finance, and supply chains.

M&S said in a statement that it aims to roll out the scheme to 100 further locations in the UK and internationally by 2023 and 1,000 by 2025.

It will also collaborate with Oxfam over three years to explore the connection between sourcing practices and human rights impacts in the UK and India.

Mike Barry, director of Plan A at M&S, said the company’s new strategy would force the company “to address questions for which we don’t have all the answers to yet and collaborate with others to drive true change across consumer goods industries”.

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