Sky wish you were here...instead of me!

Charlotte Golding during her skydive.

Charlotte Golding during her skydive. - Credit: Archant

JUMPING 15,000ft from a plane isn’t everyone’s idea of fun.

Charlotte Golding: Thumbs-up in the plane.

Charlotte Golding: Thumbs-up in the plane. - Credit: Archant

But for one student from Thaxted it was key to funding a humanitarian trip to an African village.

Charlotte Golding, 22, will fly to Kyangala – a rural community two hours drive south of Nairobi, Kenya – next month to help out in the poverty-stricken town.

She is travelling as part of a team from The Kyangala Trust, a Newport-based registered charity staffed entirely by volunteers that is aiming to complete inter-related projects to the benefit of the community.

Every penny raised goes to the charity so Charlotte needed to fund the trip herself – hence the tandem skydive challenge.

She said: “I’ve managed to raise the money to pay for the trip, and also about £800 for the charity as well, which goes a long way.

“The skydive was frightening and I was petrified. The jump was amazing ... but not something I will be doing again.”

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The Kyangala Trust has four aims to support the town: the provision of drinking water wells; construction of a rural sand dam for irrigation; completion of a half-built medical centre; and refurbishment of the school.

Despite its relative infancy, the trust has sponsored Operation Wellfound, a partner organisation, to sink three boreholes close to Kyangala – giving villagers access to water close to their homes – and seen the European Union take on the construction of the sand dam to improve the irrigation system for crops.

A Friends of Kyangala Trust group, formed with the remit of fundraising to help drive forward the projects, has seen clothes sent to the children of Kyangala at Christmas. Fundraising events held in the UK include a sponsored bike ride, wine tasting and art sale, quiz nights, and a ‘Celebrate Africa Evening’ with drumming and dance workshops, crafts and face painting.

Charlotte, a second year drama student at the University of Chichester, has been closely connected with the charity and held cake sales of her own to raise funds.

She will be making the two-week visit with a handful of trust volunteers to see first-hand what progress has been made – and what she can offer.

“The charity has made a big difference already but I was desperate to go out and see for myself – it is one of my callings. It is something I am very passionate about,” said Charlotte.

“I’ll be running dance workshops in Kyangala and choreograph simple routines. The townsfolk are holding a huge party for us during our stay, and there will be a performance of the dances I’ve taught.”

• A folk evening is being held at the Coach and Horses pub in Newport next Thursday (July 18), at 8pm.

Organised in partnership with the High Barn in Great Bardfield, the event will include performances by folk artists Moose, Ben Smith and Ali McMillan, and Two Coats Colder. Tickets are £5 each.