My name is Darren Manchild Smith, and on Saturday April 22nd 2017, I'm going to be flying on an aeroplane for the very first time in my life after years of living in fear of flying, and when that perfectly good plane reaches an altitude of 15'000ft..... I'm going to jump out of it.
Anyone who knows me properly will know how scared I have always been of getting on a plane. So scared, in fact, that I've never even been on holiday abroad or even left this little island of ours at all because of it.
In spite of this, I have still wanted to do a skydive for the past few years as I've considered it to be the next step up after one of my biggest hobbies - bungee jumping. However, there has always been that one thing holding me back..... Jumping out of a plane sadly requires having to get on a plane in the first place.....
Well now is the perfect time for me to do it. Satisfying my serious thrill issues is all very well and good, but that isn't enough for me. If I can take this and have something greater come out of it that will benefit others, then that will enhance the whole experience for me and multiply it by a million.
Just a few weeks ago, the lives of Kirsty and Ricky Ermenekli, the Ermenekli and Shorrocks families, the Collettes Dancing Troupe and many others were torn apart when a beautiful and cheeky little girl called Layla Rose was sadly taken in a very short space of time after being struck down by Meningitis.
Unfortunately, no amount of money can bring Layla back, but it can go a long way towards saving the lives of others. As well as leaving a huge void behind that can never be filled, she has also left such a mark and raised so much awareness about Meningitis that even though she had her own short life cruelly taken from her, her memory will never die and her legacy will be that she has gone on to play a massive part in saving the lives of others.
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they will never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you have donated, they will send your money directly to the charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.
You can also sponsor me by text message, which means your donation will come out of your mobile phone bill.
To do this, simply text LRFF50 followed by £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 to 70070.
Text donations are set at a maximum of £10. If you would like to sponsor a higher amount (which would be hugely appreciated), please pledge by debit or credit card.
Please note that this skydive isn't one of those "free" skydives where the cost of the jump comes out of any monies raised. I am financing this myself, so apart from the very small percentage that JustGiving charge for their services, all monies raised will go to Layla's Forever Fund and will go a long way to helping Meningitis Now. Exactly the way it should be.
If you have any queries about any of the above and would like the details so that you can be there on the day, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Thank you for listening