A busy Brixton summer!

2021 brought a busy summer for our Brixton team and the young people we work with, made all the more special for everyone as Covid restrictions finally lifted! We asked a few of our CHIPS team for their highlights…

Herbarium project – learning to care for our environment

This project, which launched in Spring in partnership with San Mei Gallery, successfully continued during the summer. The project brought together young people from Lilian Baylis school and our youth clubs, to grow plants, revamp a community garden in Angell Town, and learn about caring for our environment with the help of several local organisations, an artist, an architect, an award-winning film-maker and the educational team at Kew Gardens.

Our CHIPS partners Michelle and Abdoul took a group of young people to Cullinan Studio Architects for a presentation by an architectural assistant, a discussion about the Accelerate programme which helps secondary school-age students explore careers in architecture, and a tour of the beautiful office designed and rebuilt by Ted Cullinan and his team.

This was followed by a walk along the canals, and a sightseeing tour of the narrow boats, in vibrant Camden Town.

Michelle recalls: “We did a lot of walking and one of my highlights was observing how peaceful some of the young people were as they enjoyed laying or sitting on the canal tow path, watching the narrow boats sailing by. Some of the young people had never had an opportunity to come to Camden before and one young person said they couldn’t wait to visit again!” 

Fun with film

CHIPS Youth Worker Kamika supervised a successful film-making day with San Mei Gallery, helping young people to record and celebrate their journey on the Herbarium project, supported by the expertise and editing skills of Ollie, an award-winning TV film-maker.

The film will be premiered at San Mei Gallery on the 25 September along with a guest speaker, award ceremony and live entertainment for the young people, their parents and all the wonderful organisations who made the project happen.

“It will also be an opportunity to discuss new projects coming up, share ideas for the future, and explore how the young people can continue to be involved and develop”, said Kam and Michelle.

Pizza Making at the Garden Museum

You mightn’t be surprised to learn that pizza is one of the favourite foods for many of our young people. So we organised a summer visit to the Garden Museum, with the opportunity to learn how to make pizza from scratch, starting off with the pizza dough, then preparing and chopping the toppings, and creating their own mini pizzas which they scoffed for lunch!

They also made a rainbow coleslaw, with several of the ingredients from the garden on the premises. The session was great fun and the children also learned about cooking techniques, the cooking process, and kitchen safety including how they should handle knives.

CHIPS Youth Worker Jemmar adds: “This was followed by a walk along Thames at South Bank, taking in the National COVID Memorial Wall on the southbank and reading thousands of messages from those who have lost their loved ones. We finished the day with a final pitstop at Starbucks.”

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September’s arrival means the young people have returned to school. But we hope and pray that the skills, experiences and new friendships they gained this summer will remain with them. For our part, we’ll continue to partner with and support them during the academic year through our youth clubs and other community projects!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neville Jephcote joins our CHIPS Trustees

“We are delighted to welcome Neville to the CHIPS Board of Trustees.  His knowledge of CHIPS, personal commitment to our theology of peace and his practical business and commercial skills will be invaluable to our team.  We very much enjoyed his participation and contribution at our recent Trustees’ Away Day and look forward to working closely together in future.”  

Julie Finn, Chair of Trustees

We caught up with Neville for a quick Q&A. Welcome, Neville! What prompted you to join the CHIPS board as a trustee?

Thank you, and it is an honour!  My wife Wendy and I have known CHIPS for 12 years now and sung it’s praises to friends and work colleagues. Now that I am about to retire, giving some time to CHIPS seems a good way to spend some of it – I have always been struck by its ideals and the way it punches above its weight. 

We first became aware of CHIPS through past Director Paul Maxwell-Rose (who had gone to school with our daughters) and we have previously helped out a little at events, with fundraising (my wife and I have taken part by walking and cycling to raise money for peace) and on occasion with admin at the Brixton office. Joining the board will be a logical continuation of our support for its peacemaking work. After all, who doesn’t want or pray for world peace? 

What does peacemaking mean to you?

Our Commander in Chief is the Prince of Peace and we do well to follow His example and his mandate to become peacemakers ourselves. By doing so, we can hopefully not only bring this world a little closer to the Kingdom that He desires, but in the process also learn to model a little better His grace to others in our own lives. 

I also have a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Theology, so the practical outworking of peace initiatives appeals to my own innate belief that God’s love and grace must be put to a practical purpose.

Can you tell us a little about your career background and experience?

I spent about 30 years in the bus industry and another 20 years in community development. I started as a bus conductor before later serving in senior management roles and later on I became involved with community development charities and am currently part of the senior management team with one. 

I’m also active in the local church community, enjoy serving as an itinerant preacher and was a Justice of the Peace for a time! I do not intend to be idle in my retirement, and being able to serve CHIPS will help me to put my time to good use, and I’m sure will be very enjoyable too. 

“CHIPS continues to welcome expressions of interest from other potential trustees to join our excellent Board! We would love to hear from you, particularly if you have experience in charity operations, overseas experience or people management. If you’re interested in potentially joining us, please contact me for an informal discussion!” – Julie

That’s How it Really is

‘When we’re with our friends, it looks like everything is okay. But we all have a different type of story. What are we hiding from our friends? What happens behind closed doors? Sometimes we feel like it’s just us suffering, but none of us are alone. It’s time for us to show what our reality is’.  

We’re going back to the film studio again this year with local young people, to help raise awareness of some of the challenges that teenagers growing up in Brixton face and help them to to tell the stories that no-one sees. Their stories are important, quite simply because… ‘That’s How It Really Is’.

This year’s project follows the success of our film ‘What Happened To Karen?’ in 2020. Produced by CHIPS, distributed by Million Youth Media and showcased at the Wha’Gwan Film Festival 2021, WHTK? is a YouTube hit that’s attracted more than 382K views so far.

Building on its success, this year’s short film will be a hard-hitting drama co-created with young people living in Brixton. Featuring a group of school friends heading out to the beach during their summer holidays, it doesn’t take long before a series of triggers draws out the silent battles each young person is facing in their lives. 

We get to learn the truth behind the dressed-up lives of our crew, with issues of faith, love, self-esteem, family, popularity and sexuality all arising in this emotional rollercoaster. With raw and compelling performances, humour and powerful narration, we soon see through the polished disguises of the characters’ lives, and maybe even begin to open up to our own stories. 

Our team of directors and producers are ready… our young people are raring to go… and now all we need is a bit more funding to make this project happen! Can you help us? Please consider donating to the project – and you’ll even have the opportunity to be thanked in the film credits!

You can donate quickly and securely online on our Crowdfunder page. No donation is too small and every pound will make a difference!

Your money will be used for equipment hire, insurance, crew salaries, location fees, travel (to the beach!), catering, post production costs, and ensuring the welfare of the young people while we are filming. We will also use the funds to host a film screening for the community on the Angell Town football pitch in Brixton in September. Further funds will be used to submit our film into film festivals early next year. 

Join us on 25 September!

As restrictions lift, we’re excited to invite you to our first CHIPS face-to-event for some time. This will take place in London on 25 September, the weekend following the International Day of Peace.


Following a morning thanksgiving with Elfrida for her service and commissioning of Julie as Chair of Trustees, this special event will include an afternoon discussion with the CHIPS team, and plenty of time for catching up together. 

The event will take place at St Paul’s Church Hammersmith, London W6 9JP.

Feel free to invite other members of your household, and pass on the invitation to anyone you think might like to attend.

To reply, please use this email link and include the names of your party attending, or call us on 020 7078 7439. We will then provide further details of the day.

We hope to see you there!

 

Brixton people stories: meet Renee

At CHIPS, helping young people to explore their talents and think about their future is an important part of our strategy in Brixton.

We know from experience that presenting positive alternatives to a lifestyle of crime and violence is key to peacemaking in our community, but for various reasons many young people often don’t have the support they need to unlock their true potential. 

Renée is 16 and she lives in Brixton with her mum and two siblings. Thanks to her involvement with CHIPS and other community projects in the area, Renée has recently been able to explore her growing passion for the arts.

Renée was volunteering at the Brixton Chamber Orchestra last year when our CHIPS first recognised her budding talent, but she was struggling to find other opportunities to gain the work experience she needed. Kamika, our youth worker, invited her to join our Summer of Film-making in Angell Town last year as a volunteer, helping to make our short film ‘What Happened to Karen‘.

Renée says: “CHIPS has given me great opportunities, and it’s because of them that I am now working in two short films! I really enjoyed helping to film ‘What happened to Karen’ which has an amazing amount of views and sent a positive message for the community about young people in Brixton.”

Our community partner Michelle adds “After getting to know Renee more as a young volunteer, I put her forward for an arts project, along with a number of young people from the Unlock project that I coordinated last year.

Along with several other local young people, her work was featured at an exhibition organised by Big Local Impact Brixton. The exhibition, called ‘Brixton Celebrates Young Art’, was curated virtually because of Covid, and was designed to give a window into young people’s creativity during the pandemic. 

“My experience with the art project has been inspiring for me”, Renée says “because it shows me how other people can view and appreciate art from their own different perspectives.” You can view the exhibition here.

Renee also took part in the Herbarium educational project organised by our community partner Michelle Killington and San Mei Gallery, a local gallery near Angell Town Estate which is keen to make their gallery accessible and inclusive to the young people who live and study in the area. Renee was part of the small film-making team, documenting the journey of the project which will be published shortly.  Renee was fortunate to work alongside an award-winning BBC film-maker, who provided training of film making techniques using a mobile phone.

Renée will also be among a number of young people we work with taking part in a new arts project, Caribbean Garden Heritage, organised by the Garden Museum in Lambeth. This project will explore the impact that people from the Caribbean have on the gardens of south London and the young people will learn how to conduct oral history interviews and be involved in recording and interviewing members of the Windrush generation about their lives and about what gardens and plants mean to them. The recordings will then be used in a public autumn exhibition, and become part of the museum’s archives as a record for future generations.

Renee’s mum says that her daughter really appreciates all the love and support she has had to help her explore her career in the arts. “As a single mother, family life can be harder than usual, so to have an organisation that provides such a great support for young people is definitely appreciated. I would like to thank the CHIPS organisation for their tremendous support for my daughter has received since volunteering with them. Thank you to all the volunteers and staff!”

Renée’s enthusiasm is contagious and she is now an inspiration for her peers in our weekly youth clubs, with whom she has been sharing her experience. “I came to CHIPS for voluntary work, and it has honestly been amazing because of the youth workers and the opportunities it has given me,” she says.

“I’ve gained a lot just by being there and I have also had a lot of fun with the people I have met. I am truly grateful for the people that have helped me on the way!”

We look forward to following Renée’s next steps and continuing to mentor other young people to consider their future through our Brixton project!

We’re going nuts in Ghana!

Every day we read a new headline about the ‘climate crisis’. But did you know climate change is also bad for peace?

That’s because climate change puts greater pressure on the resources we all need to sustain life such as food and water. In doing so, it increases poverty, damages social cohesion, and creates more refugees by displacing people from their homes and communities. Sadly, it’s the poorest who are most affected.

Climate and conflict

Of the 20 countries ranked the most vulnerable and least ready to adapt to climate change, 12 are in conflict. And in Ghana, our team believes that a changing climate is one of the key causes of increasingly unreliable and unpredictable rainfall, leading to crop failure and increasing tension over land.

“Climate change has brought serious drought which badly affects the crops of our self-help groups” says Desmond, our Ghana Team Leader “On the other hand, it has led to more wind and storms which can easily rip the roofs off homes and cause destruction for communities already struggling in hardship”.

Going nuts for peace!

Now, we are seeking to launch a new practical peacemaking project which will support smallholder farmers to plant cashew trees. More than 60% of Africa’s population live in rural areas with agriculture as their main livelihood, and smallholders are particularly vulnerable to the changing climate. But while maize, yam, groundnut and vegetable crops are most at risk from the changing climate, cashews are much more resistant.

By farming cashews, we believe Ghana smallholders can diversify their income and reduce the effects of failed crops. As it helps to alleviate financial shocks and poverty, we hope it will also reduce the tensions around land ownership that we regularly see playing out across local communities. Crucially, and in line with our other projects, it will also enable us to bring together people from all sides of the tribal and clan divides to learn and work together in peace.

Next steps

Desmond senses that local people are keen to get involved in the project, because they can see that climate change is no longer a theory but a reality. “They are increasingly concerned by the ever-changing weather, the growing heat, the sporadic rainfall and the impact this has on their livelihood and their families,” he says.

With enthusiasm building, the next step for our team is to progress discussions with local chiefs and elders to win their support and secure land. With many different stakeholders and perspectives, this is a complex process. “We would appreciate your prayers as we commit this project into the hands of God, asking for positivity and unity as we discuss with local authorities!” Desmond asks.

    

G is for… Goats!

In this series of short blogs, we’re working through the alphabet to highlight the approaches – some perhaps more surprising than others – that we take at CHIPS to grassroots peacemaking!

The benefits of animal rearing

In Ghana, an increasingly unpredictable climate has led to lower crop yields and more tension over land. Because rearing animals is less intensive work and much cheaper, CHIPS has been working with communities since 2011 to help them begin farming with animals in a sustainable way that allows them to diversify their sources of food and income.

Like all of our work in Ghana, the idea at the heart of this project is to alleviate poverty while bringing enemies together. Divisions, mistrust and tensions often exist at clan level, as well as at between the Konkomba and Nanumba tribes themselves. We take every opportunity to break down these barriers, through regular group meetings and training sessions that help people get to know and work alongside each other.

Why goats are great!

Goats are a particularly good option in Ghana for several reasons.

First, they reproduce fast – up to three times a year! – unlike sheep who breed just once annually, which means an almost constant supply of new goats for the groups.

Second, there is a great deal of truth in the stereotype of goats being resourceful. They thrive under simple conditions with locally-produced feed and need comparatively little TLC! Materials for animal housing are easily available locally and feed is abundant – including the countryside’s lush grass.

Third, goats provide a variety of practical uses. As well as providing meat to feed extended families or sell at the market, for example, they deliver a regular supply of fertiliser which can be used on crops and they provide leather for making shoes and other items.  

How the project works

In partnership with local community leaders, we invite some of the poorest households to take part and organise them into small groups. The main challenge for new animal farmers is a lack of technical knowledge, so the small groups provide members with mutual support.

We also give the groups access to the expertise they need. For example, we often invite a vet or community animal health worker to visit the community and educate members on feeding, water and medication (and we also train up new workers where there aren’t any). Having the right infrastructure is also key to getting started, so we focus on encouraging and supporting households to build and maintain suitable housing for their animals too.

Once things are going to plan, the CHIPS team goes to the market to buy goats, sheep and chickens and we give a total of two to each new group. When their animals are breeding, each group then donates two animals to the next generation of new groups, helping to make the project sustainable and ensuring its ongoing success. Then they are free to keep the rest to meet their own household’s needs or to sell at the market.

How goats make peace!

Animal rearing has without doubt been one of our most successful practical peacemaking projects over the past ten years in Ghana and goats have been at the heart of its success.

It has helped the communities to nurture new relationships, and to build trust and confidence. Perhaps the best proof of this is when we see members happily sharing stories with their former enemies and thanking them for their tips and advice!

Members have also begun to start to spend time in neighbouring ‘enemy’ villages, where they wouldn’t have ventured before but they now have new friends. We’ve also seen the attitudes of some community leaders begin to shift – as they see the results from the project and their people working and laughing together across the divides!

Mawong’s story: “Goats have brought us together with our enemies!”

Mawong is a wife and grandmother who lives in Lungni. Her husband is old and unable to work, while her extended family struggles to meet their rising living costs.

She was part of our first animal rearing group ten years ago. After starting with chickens, her animal rearing work has gone from strength to strength and she was soon able to buy her first goat! Since then, she has made enough money to pay school fees for her two grandsons, save a fund to protect her household against a financial emergency, and has even recently donated two goats for a traditional community funeral.

Today, Mawong is preparing to buy her first cow after five years of goat rearing and her enthusiasm is contagious. She says the project has helped her community to make peace with its former enemies and regularly gives testimonies at group meetings to encourage both Konkombas and Nanumbas to take part. She is now recognised as a local expert, and members from both tribes regularly visit her to ask for advice on rearing their animals!

Our campaign: Goats for Ghana!

Now we have an important opportunity to expand the project but we need your help!

We’ve been working with the people of Nyobido since 2019. The community there has been particularly hard hit by poor farm yields in recent years and disruption from the pandemic. The women used to farm beans or cowpeas, but after a series of disastrous harvests are now struggling to get by. Parents are unable to pay school fees for their children while there are many poor older women who are no longer able to farm crops but are still capable of rearing goats.

They women of Nyobido have heard of the success of our goat rearing project from other communities and want to start one there to help combat poverty and support their elders. To make this to happen, we need to buy 40 goats.  

Can you help us to make their dream a reality?  By donating to our Goats for Ghana campaign, you can:

  • Help a struggling household to lift themselves out of poverty and meet their rising living costs, such as school and medical fees
  • Create a sustainable community project as the kids will be passed on to help others start new groups
  • Bring former enemies together as friends and colleagues as they learn and work together

You can also choose to Give a Goat as a sustainable gift to a friend or loved one if you wish. To do this, just choose the ‘Give a Goat as a Gift’ option on our campaign page and we’ll get in touch with you to confirm the recipient’s details and take care of the rest!

Here are some examples of what your gift could achieve:

  • £12 could buy enough goat food to get a new group started
  • £30 could buy a single goat for a new group
  • £100 could pay for a goat and everything a new group needs to get started!

Please donate to our project if you are able and share with your networks. We would be hugely grateful for your support!

From my ends to your ends…

Our work tackling youth violence in Brixton received a major boost recently when, together with seven other local community organisations, we were awarded funding from the Mayor of London’s Violence Reduction Unit.

This forms part of the Mayor’s My Ends programme which provides support for neighbourhoods that are experiencing higher than normal levels of violence. The funding recognises that the Coldharbour Ward where we are based remains one of Lambeth’s most violent wards with one of London’s highest rates of serious youth violence together with high unemployment and poor mental and physical health.

Along with seven local charities, we have therefore established a new partnership, Ecosystem Coldharbour. Each of us are well-respected community organisations with experience leading violence reduction initiatives locally and we all bring our own unique strengths while sharing a deep commitment to our community.

Together, we will use the funding to strengthen our community and build its resilience. Andrew Jackson, Director of CHIPS explains: “Our strategy for the CHIPS Brixton project remains unchanged and will continue to centre on community organising and mentoring young people through our different channels. However, through this partnership, we are excited that we will be able to increase our impact and bring a Christian, peacemaking approach to a wider sphere of work locally.”

Some of the new initiatives we will partner on include:

  • Recruiting a new collective of passionate local ‘young connectors’ who will become the next generation of changemakers with the right skills, experience and relationships to make an impact on reducing youth violence and trauma
  • Providing 1-2-1 support for young people around wellbeing and mental health
  • Creating new meaningful opportunities for young people that act as diversionary activities giving them positive paths away from violence
  • Supporting a network of grieving mothers and families impacted by youth violence

Our contribution at CHIPS will include hosting a Youth Outreach Worker who will focus on the hotspots in the area for violence, gangs and anti-social behaviour, and providing one of a number of safe spaces for young people to go after school – which can be a time when many find of them themselves at risk.

There are two narratives told about Brixton. The first is of a vibrant, diverse place brimming with energy, ideas and passion. The other is of a dangerous, divided place struggling with violence, poverty and anger.  The vision for our partnership is to ensure that, for our young people and future generations, the first proves to be more powerful and attractive than the second.

“We are thankful for this opportunity to be part of a new approach connecting the many pockets of experience and innovation within the Brixton community, and to be working with other organisations who share a passion for ending youth violence,” says Andrew. “Please pray for a successful start to the project, and for us at CHIPS as we bring our Christian peacemaking approach to this exciting work!”

F is for… Friendship!

In this series of blogs, we’re working through the alphabet to highlight the approaches – some more surprising than others – that we take at CHIPS to grassroots peacemaking!

As Christian peacemakers who believe in the healing power of relationships, helping people to build friendships across divides has always been one of our primary aims. From Cyprus to the Philippines in past years and from Brixton to Ghana today, all of our projects are carefully designed to help people come together and get to know one another. Indeed, our teams say that seeing former enemies become friends is one of the real highlights of their job, and evidence that our approach is working!

Saving together

In Ghana, our susu self-help groups bring women together from the two main tribes to save money together and make loans to each other so they can expand their microbusinesses. As Andrew, our Director, says “Bringing together former enemies to trust each other with their money is quite an achievement in itself. However, it’s even more remarkable to see them become lasting friends!”

Our Ghana Team Leader, Desmond, gives the example of two Dagomba women from Nakpayili who now have new friends from the Konkomba tribe in Lungni. Having got to know each other through the susu group meetings, they now enjoy spending time with each other, sharing stories with each other and visiting each other’s communities – something they would never have dreamed of doing before!

Desmond says that when people from the two sides get to know each other properly, their attitudes and behaviours change. “They get to understand one another better and more clearly, and start to lose the prejudice and stereotypes they have been brought up with.”

Trading together

Helping people to do business together is also one of the most effective ways of building relationships, in our experience. For example, in our veterinary project, our Community Animal Health Workers often find themselves interacting across the divide and making friends from the opposing tribes – but they would be unlikely to take this step without the financial benefit they get by way of payment for treating their animals first.

The people we work with attest to the importance of trading together themselves. Rahinatu Felix is a widow with four children who used to struggle to pay for their education. But through joining a CHIPS self-help group, she now buys cassava from both Dagomba and Konkomba farmers which she processes into gari to sell at the market. Through getting to know them, her perceptions about conflict and peace have changed. She says she now has a new attitude towards the ‘other side’ and would recommend the work of CHIPS to any community willing to change and develop.

Our team leader Desmond says he has also made great new friends from the ‘other’ side – citing the example of someone he met last year through his work. They now like to watch European football matches together – and Desmond is currently advising him how to dig and build a toilet for his household, sharing his expertise from our sanitation and hygiene project!

Beating lockdown blues

Meanwhile in Brixton, our work is bringing young people together to form new friendships and strengthen existing ones.

Over the past year, the various states of lockdown have created particular challenges for young people in the area. Many live in overcrowded homes and have suffered from feeling stifled at home while at the same time isolated from their friends. This has often come at a cost to mental health and personal development.

While meeting virtually can never replace face-to-face contact, they say that our programme of online activities has helped them to stay connected.  From blog challenges to online street dance sessions, the programme has also given them opportunities to get creative and find mutual support.

Last summer between lockdowns, our group of budding young actors were also able to meet in person for our film-making project, which made a real difference. Tavia, who plays Louise in the film, was 13 years old and told us that when her school closed, she was “worried about not seeing my friends – and kind of scared because the news every day was all about the pandemic.” But as a result of the project, she says “I’m proud that me and my group have become a lot closer.”

This spring, building on last year’s work, the young people are learning about song composition from a professional musician and vocal coach. When the restrictions lift in the summer, they will then record a song based on their experiences in lockdown, which we hope will prove to be another great success in bringing young people together to forge new friendships after a difficult year.

Growing together

An important aim of our Brixton work is to help forge relationships between teenagers from different neighbourhoods, who often don’t have an opportunity to meet, and may mistrust each other or have preconceptions of each other.

By helping them to build friendships across the different postcodes and estates, we can break down the barriers which gangs are only too willing to exploit to the full and which encourage young people to become caught up in violence. Once the teenagers start to work together on a shared passion, however, they quickly realise that their ‘rivals’ are just like them, facing the same issues and concerns and with the same hopes and dreams.

Our two after-school youth groups follow the same principles, and have been able to meet together in person under the latest restrictions. It has been heart-warming to see young people bond together during the challenges of lockdown, with existing friendships strengthened and new ones formed across the different estates. CHIPS team member Kamika says that the groups have a lovely, family feel to them. “They just love to talk!”, she says, “and catching up over chicken and chips and playing games, it feels like a family sitting at the dinner table together.”

But of course, friendship isn’t just about having a good time together – it’s about supporting each other to move forward together in positive ways too. So we also use our youth groups to bring role models in from the community to share their stories and encourage and empower the teenagers to reach their full potential.

Simon Ghartey who runs the charity Progress which promotes sustainability through food for communities, recently visited us, for example. He shared his story about how he was a wayward teen who ended up on the wrong side of law one too many times, but then changed his life and set to up the charity to help other young people stay out of trouble. This inspired our young people to think about their futures too, and to share their hopes and dreams with each other.

As restrictions lift and we begin to plan our activities for the summer, that’s the type of friendship we hope to replicate across all of our activities!

Jumping for peeeaaace…

Last Sunday, CHIPS supporter Lisa Rutland jumped from a plane to fundraise for CHIPS, with just a few days’ notice! We caught up with her about her experience…
 
Hi Lisa, congratulations on your jump! What inspired you to do it?
 
I had always wanted to skydive! I did it for the first time quite a few years ago for charity and enjoyed it so much that I  knew I had to do it again! My husband very kindly gifted me a jump for a ‘significant ‘ birthday I had coming up, and this is the one I did on Sunday.
 
Why did you decide to generously fundraise for CHIPS?
 
I first heard about CHIPS from a good friend who works them. And I just love what the charity stands for. I have friends who have been affected by violence and gang-related issues in London, so it was a no brainer for me to support CHIPS really!
 
How did you feel doing the jump?
 
I was really quite excited before getting into the plane, as I knew what to expect, but when sitting on the floor of the plane, the nerves kicked in!
 
We jumped from about 2,000 feet more than I jumped from the first time ( just over 2 miles!!) It was both exhilarating and scary as I left the plane, strapped very tightly to my tandem partner.
 
It was also -14°C up there, so a real shock to the system and that took my breath away to start with. My hands felt like blocks of ice – note to self, wear gloves next time!!
 
I then loved the 40-second freefall before the canopy opened and I could enjoy the gentle float down, taking in the beautiful scenery! We landed very smoothly. It was really quite different to the last time but still an amazing experience. 
 
How did you end up doing the jump with just a few days notice?
 
My jump was originally booked for this time last year but it was postponed a couple of times due to Covid.  As it was my husband who purchased it, all correspondence went through him and he recently told me that he had rebooked for sometime in June.
 
But last Thursday evening,  when we were out for his birthday I asked him to check the exact date. He checked, he laughed, and then he said, “How does this Sunday sound?” Hence the short notice!
 
Big thanks and congratulations to Lisa on her jump, and for fundraising for CHIPS! You can sponsor her jump here!
 
If you have an idea of a challenge activity that you might like to do to raise money for peace, feel free to contact us here to discusss!