Liam Carruthers, an employee at M&S Princes Street, has faced his worst fears to support a child bereavement charity which offers counselling services across the Capital.
The 23-year-old, from Gracemount, completed a solo skydive in St Andrews earlier this month, raising around £1000 for Niddrie-based Richmond’s Hope.
His colleagues in Edinburgh are aiming to raise £30,000 – through bag packing, quiz nights and other in-store events – after choosing Richmond’s Hope as their charity of the year.
The store has already raised £5000 since the start of the partnership in April.
Based in Richmond Craigmillar Church, the charity works with bereaved children by providing a safe environment where they can work through their grief, by meeting others, sharing experiences and speaking with trained support workers.
This charity also helps to raise awareness and understanding of the social, practical and emotional needs of bereaved children and their families.
Jenny McPartlin, store manager at M&S Edinburgh Princes Street, said: “We are thrilled that Liam completed the skydive for the store’s charity of the year and raised such a huge amount in the process.
“It’s no mean feat jumping 10,000ft out of a moving plane and we are all very proud of him.
“Each year our M&S stores across the UK select a local community project or charity to support. Some of our team have personal experience with Richmond’s Hope, so it’s certainly a cause that’s close to all of our hearts.”
Kelley Scoular, office manager at Richmond’s Hope, said: “Losing a loved one as an adult is tough but as a child, it can bring long-term developmental challenges if the correct level of support isn’t provided.
“Generous fundraising and voluntary donations like this one from the M&S team allow us to continue our important work in the local community and raise awareness of how grief can impact a child’s future. We are extremely lucky and grateful to have the entire store helping us to raise funds this year.”
Thanking everyone for the support, Liam added: “Completing the skydive was a huge personal challenge but knowing I was doing it for a good cause motivated me to face my fears.
“Some of my colleagues have had personal experience with Richmond’s Hope and I wanted to do something to give back. I’m absolutely thrilled that we’ve managed to raise £5000 so far this year. “
For more information on Richmond’s Hope, visit www.richmondshope.org.uk.