Blind skydiver braves heights

Marie Powell with her guide dog Vince. Marie is doing a skydive to raise money for guide dog partnerships.
Marie Powell with her guide dog Vince. Marie is doing a skydive to raise money for guide dog partnerships.

A severely sight impaired guide dog owner from Lancaster will be jumping out of a plane for charity.

Marie Powell, 47, relies heavily on her guide dog Vince, a four-year-old yellow labrador to get her out and about and decided to raise money for a guide dog charity to help others.

Marie said: “I am married to David who is also a guide dog owner.

“His dog is an equally lively three-year-old yellow Labrador called Holly. We can not sufficiently express in words the positive differences Vince and Holly make to our lives. They are not only great companions but guude us safely around people and obstacles.

“We used to be reluctant to go out in the winter months when the nights were drawing in, but now we can go out confidently and not feel trapped indoors by the darker evenings.

“ It is so life changing to be able to walk confidently and independently on routes we know without fear of colliding with anything, especially when it is very sunny or getting dark.

“I am so grateful to Guide Dogs for training and matching me with my working guide dog Vince, and 12 year old retired Golden Retriever Buster. So I decided to fundraise by collecting sponsors for me to do a sky dive on Friday July 6 at Black Knights Parachute Centre at Cockerham.”

Marie is paying to do the skydive with money left to her by her mum Eira Nicklin, who sadly passed away at the age of 73 on September 13, 2017 after a short battle with cancer.

She said: “She would have been both proud and horrified in equal measure that I was planning to jump out of a plane!

“It would be wonderful to raise as much money as possible to support more life changing guide dog partnerships. My initial target was £500 but that has been exceeded due to the generosity of friends and family. I have been asked several times if Vince is coming with me on the sky dive. The answer is a definite no! However I will be watched from the safety of the ground by David, Vince, Holly and our friend Lu who will be driving them all to the parachute centre.” Donate to Marie’s justgiving page at www.justgiving/fundraising/marieandvince.