Shebbear College’s Head Pupil, Bella Richards in Upper Sixth decided to mark her 18th birthday in style this year by completing a tandem skydive from 15,000ft in memory of her uncle and to raise money and awareness for Devon Mind, a charity close to her heart.

“My 18th birthday was my first birthday without my Uncle Evan so I wanted to do something that would honour him and raise money for a charity in his memory.” said Bella. “I decided on Devon Mind because I wanted to raise awareness of mental wellbeing and much needed funds this charity. The funds raised through the generosity of friends and family will help people living in this area to access support to fight poor mental health and I am very proud to have supported this amazing charity.’”

Bella’s skydive has raised over £1,500 for Devon Mind. In addition, Shebbear College’s annual Spring Fete, which took place on May Bank Holiday, also raised £750 for Devon Mind to support Bella in her fundraising efforts taking the total to £2,250.

Bella added, “I have always wanted to do a skydive but nothing prepared me for the mix of emotions that I felt during this day. The most nerve wracking part was when the plane door opened! However this was also the most exciting part as I knew that I had to do it.

“The feeling of complete weightlessness when in free fall is like no other and the beauty of above the clouds was breath taking.

“This was quickly followed by lots of laughter and screaming when the parachute opened and I began my decent through the clouds. I will never forget this experience!”