Hereford’s Lynne Gladwin is reaching for the skies to support a new hub for veterans in the city. After seeing the Northern Lights in January, skydiving was next on Lynne’s bucket list. She’s performing her first ever tandem skydive to raise funds for FirstLight Trust, a charity helping former members of the armed forces and emergency services adjust to civilian life.
Lynne herself served in the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps. Her eldest son is in the Rifles and she already runs two Armed Forces and Veteran Breakfast Clubs in Leominster and Hereford. For the past two years she’s volunteered with veterans, signposting them to the best support on offer. Lynne now joins FirstLight Trust as a support worker in their forthcoming Hereford hub.
“When the job opportunity came up with FirstLight Trust, it seemed a natural choice for me,” says Lynne. “I get to help blue light and service veterans full time in a job I’m passionate about. Not many people can say they love going to work. I’m very fortunate.”
The Hereford veterans’ hub will combine a community space and coffee bar for veterans and the public alike. It is the charity’s sixth UK hub, joining other Sharpe’s establishments in Gosport, Hawick, Lancaster, Redcar and Scarborough. They aim to serve hot drinks and home-made cakes at reasonable prices in a friendly atmosphere where veterans can chat. The coffee bars are named after Major Richard Sharpe, the fictional soldier famously played on TV by Hollywood actor Sean Bean. Permission to use the iconic name has been granted by the charity’s patron, author Bernard Cornwell.
“We are incredibly fortunate to have someone as experienced as Lynne to join our Hereford team,” says Dorinda Wolfe Murray, the founder of FirstLight Trust. “The fact that she is a veteran herself means she already understands the culture of the armed forces in a way no civilian can. Jumping out of a plane wasn’t in her job description, but we are very grateful for her sponsorship!”
During the freefall section, Lynne will reach speeds of 120 mph, or one thousand feet every five seconds. Once the parachute is deployed, she will slow to one thousand feet per minute. Lynne’s leap is scheduled for Sunday 3 March over Swindon. Update: bad weather means it will now take place in the middle of May, weather permitting.
Donations can be made online at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Lynne-gladwin1