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Dog trainer to take leap of faith for hospice

A devoted husband will enjoy the thrill of his life when he skydives from 12,000ft in memory of his wife.
Roy Matthews with Ruby and fellow dog trainer Stephanie websized (cropped)
Roy Matthews, 63, signed up to the unbeatable adrenalin rush, which will take place on September 6th, to support Saint Francis Hospice after its Hospice at Home team cared for his wife Susan, 57, before she died. 

"When I heard about the skydive I thought I'd go for it," said Roy, who is a volunteer with Essex Dog Trainers. 

"People think I'm brave but I've raised almost £1,000 and I am really excited about it." 

The grandfather, who lives in Rainham, said the hospice made such a difference to Susan's life and even enabled him to take their dogs for a walk when they came to visit.

"Saint Francis Hospice helped me to bring her home and our last six weeks together were amazing," he added.

Earlier this month a family raised £1,800 when they enjoyed the exhilarating experience of freefalling at 120mph.

Roy Matthews with Ruby and fellow dog trainer Stephanie websized
Pictured: L-R Ruby Crisell, 6, with dog trainers Stephanie Clarke and Roy Matthews at a cynophobia class

Richard Doubtfire, 47, together with his son Matthew and two nieces Kerry and Charlotte Wood, skydived for the hospice because he was impressed with the care his father John Doubtfire was given before he died last year.

John, 86, suffered from cancer and was also looked after at his home in Cranham by the charity's Hospice at Home team.

"The hospice looked after him so well and when one of my nieces suggested that we do a skydive for the hospice it seemed like a good idea," said Richard, from Billericay.

"It was amazing. It was the most nerve wracking thing I have ever done but you will never get a bigger thrill than this."

Roy Matthews with Ruby and fellow dog trainer Stephanie websized
Matthew, 16, who is a student at South Essex College, enjoyed the experience so much he is hoping to do it again.

"It was one of the best feelings in the world," said Matthew (pictured during his dive).

"I had always wanted to do a skydive and this was a great opportunity to do it.

"I was pretty nervous at first but once I had done it the feeling was just superb."
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