Mark Allen takes a dive for charity

For those of you who have been there: you know the feeling. You sit on a ledge of an open door in an airplane 10,000 feet up in the air. There is a moment of terror as you gaze into open space. And then you are hurled into a vortex, swirling in free fall at 120 mph before, 30 seconds later, you are jolted as the parachute opens. You can now start to take in the views and enjoy the experience.

I am pleased to say that I survived my sky dive, which I completed for Alabare, a brilliant Salisbury-based charity that cares for the homeless. It was the thought of helping the homeless in dark moments, when my family and friends offered to pay me NOT to do the sky dive, that kept me going. They know that in practical matters like this how incompetent I am and how my anarchic spirit finds it difficult to obey instructions.

It is one of the blights of modern Britain that there are so many homeless people on the streets. Many of them are ordinary people, just like me or you, who have descended into a cycle of despair as they have lost jobs and homes and broken up with partners, often exacerbated by drink and drug problems. There is a desperate shortage of affordable housing. The sad and difficult-to-comprehend reality is that many of us are only one or two pay cheques away from being homeless.

I am deeply grateful for all of you who have supported my sky dive and, by doing so, helped several homeless people secure a better future. As a result of your and others generosity, I have raised, through online and offline donations, well over £6,000. This is nothing about me. It is about my genuine desire to help those vulnerable people who are far less pampered and privileged than me.

It is not too late to donate if you have not already done so. I can assure you that your money will be very well spent. I can vouch for that. Alabare provides brilliant accommodation, a drop-in centre and gives many of its clients the skills and confidence to look for work.

Below is my JustGiving link.

Thank you all so much.

https://www.justgiving.com/Mark-Allen73

Kind regards

Mark