Unusually for someone about to drop 12,000 feet from the sky to earth, Jedburgh’s Shona Ramsay said she didn’t feel the slightest bit nervous beforehand.
As a guide dog owner, Shona explained, she puts her trust in guide dog Oscar each day and relies on him to get out and about. So she felt no qualms when it came to trusting her skydive partner, Ian, to get them landed safely.
And although guide dog Oscar obviously didn’t do the skydive, he was very much with Shona in spirit, as Shona took on the challenge last month to fundraise for Guide Dogs Scotland.
Shona and Oscar were paired together in April 2013, and since then Oscar has been a life-changer for Shona, 51.
Said Shona: “He has given me my life back. I’ve gone from not wanting to leave the house, to the point where now nothing stops me.”
And on learning that Guide Dogs Scotland relies entirely on public generosity to fund our life-changing services, Shona decided she was going to take on a fundraising challenge that would boost the independence of another blind or partially sighted person.
“I’ve always wanted to do a skydive – you could say it was straight off the bucket list!” said Shona.
“My son set up a Just Giving page and set a fundraising target of £2,000,” said Shona. “I thought, there’s no way I’ll raise that much! So I decided to go out and about around Jedburgh with Oscar, popping in to local businesses and restaurants and community groups, and inviting them to sponsor me. And the reaction has been fantastic! People have been incredibly encouraging and really supported me.
“Last week a woman came up to me in a café and gave me £25 for Guide Dogs. When I said thank you, and told her that I was now £2.50 off my £2,000 target, the woman’s friend quickly rummaged in her purse for £2.50! That sums up the support I’ve had from Jedburgh people,” said Shona.
You can still give to Shona’s fundraising drive on her Just Giving page at https://www.justgiving.com/Shona-Ramsay3