Saturday, September 17, 2011

Author Vickie Johnstone - Charity Skydive

Charity skydive for Wood Green Animal Shelters

 Today I am happy to introduce you all to author Vicki Johnstone. She is the author of the Kiwi series, (the main character is Kiwi - a little, fluffy black cat who is often cheeky. How fun does that sound?) and Kaleidoscope, (a collection of poems. I have this book and one thing I love about it is that the poems are broken up into subjects. I will have more on this in an upcoming post). Vickie lives in London and she is doing something awesome and wonderful there. I have invited her here to tell you about it.


It all started one Tuesday in July when I was looking through the top posts in the Facebook news and came across a request from Wood Green Animal Shelters for volunteers to jump for charity. Yes, I thought, I'm up for that!

Back in… well about 10 years ago, I travelled to Australia and I kept challenging myself to do things on that fun trip. When I got to Queensland, the hostel I was staying in was organising tandem skydives. I'm trying that, I thought, and signed up. But then it was cancelled because it was too windy. I signed up again to jump the following day. Later on though, walking around town, my mind started thinking... what if it was cancelled for a reason?... what if I'm not supposed to do it... what if I crash into a tree?... blow out to sea?... the chute doesn't open??? Yep, you guessed - I cancelled it.

So, on this Tuesday, I thought I would give it another go. It's for a good cause after all. And, it's funny how, as I get older, things seem a bit scarier! Do you agree? Maybe, maybe not? Things I used to do before, now I think oh no, what if I injure this or that, or what if I look an idiot. Actually, that last bit never bothered me too much. Looking an idiot seems to come naturally. 

So, the upshot is that I am hoping to raise money for Wood Green Animal Shelters by chucking myself out of an aeroplane on Sunday 2 October, holding on for dear life to some poor guy who will hear my screams all the way down. I also have vertigo, and I can’t go upside down on fairground rides or get on the big rollercoaster, but, hey, I'm thinking it's so high up that maybe it won't matter! I'll be jumping from 10,000ft, freefalling 5,000ft at 120mph, and then riding the parachute down to the ground – so it says on my information pack. And, then I’ll probably be scarpering to the nearest pub.

There are a lot of worthy charities out there, but this one does a lot of worthy work to help our furry friends. The charity has a website at and a facebook page at

Here's how you can help...

I’ve set up a page on JustGiving where people can sponsor me. It’s at and every penny is going directly to Wood Green Animal Shelters. Donating is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity and make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer.

Your thank you gift from me…

After donating, you’ll receive coupon codes to buy my books, two of which, incidentally, are about animals – cats, mice, hamsters J They are called Kiwi in Cat City and Kiwi and the missing Magic. These books are for sale on Smashwords and Amazon.

So, what’s so great about Wood Green Animal Shelters?

The history bit goes back to 1924, when Miss Louisa Snow opened the first centre in a small house in Lordship Lane, North London. She was concerned at the large number of abandoned and injured animals on the streets of London following the First World War.

Why do they need your help?

According to their website, in 2010, 79% of the charity’s income came from legacies and donations.

Stats & facts for 2010 –

-       We cared for over 5,500 lost and unwanted animals.
-       We rehomed 2507 cats and kittens, and 1469 dogs and puppies.
-       53 puppies were helped by our fostering volunteers.
-       We saw a 47% increase in the number of strays arriving at our centres.
-       38% of the animals we rehomed were neutered by our veterinary team.
-       22,000 medical checks and over 2,000 neutering procedures were carried out.
-       More than 16,000 people were reached through our 'Hands On' educational scheme.
-       At any one time we can accommodate up to 950 animals across our three centres.
-       We aim for an average stay of 21 days for a dog and 14 days for a cat.
-       40% of all animals we take in require veterinary care.
-       95% of animals are successfully re-homed.
-       At 52 acres, our Cambridgeshire Centre is one of the largest rehoming centres in Europe.

And, just in case any readers fancy doing a skydive for charity, you can find Information on the parachute company, Skyline, at Skyline was founded 14 years ago, specialising in organising parachute jumps for first-time jumpers. They are now one of the largest organisers of parachuting and skydiving courses in the UK, with over 7,000 people a year making their first-time jump with them. Many of these jumps are made for charity, and Skyline jumpers have so far raised £4.5million for more than 1,500 charities, according to their website. There is a list of charities on their site, from which you can choose to make a tandem dive.

So, now it’s Wednesday 14 September and I’m counting down the days. I’ve found some warm gloves, booked my train tickets to Peterborough and arranged an overnight stay there because you have to be at Sibson Airfield at 830am. Peterborough Parachute Centre is one of the best-equipped civilian parachute clubs in the UK. Apart from the excellent training facilities it has hot showers, lavatories, a licensed bar and restaurant, and free camping and caravan space. First I will be getting a 20-30 minute briefing session on what equipment I will be using, how to board the aircraft, and how to jump out in “a stable face-to-earth position”. Then it will up to the lovely British weather as to when I jump. So, Mr Sunshine, I hope you come out and play, and the clouds are nice and fluffy.

Charity edition book of poetry

I am also selling a charity edition book of poems called Childhood & Creatures. It is priced at £2.99, and all of my royalties will be going to Wood Green Animal Shelters. Poems inside: Magic pencils; The pink highlighter; My teacher actually fainted; Detention; The haunted house; The damaged bear; When playtime is over; The closet; The fox and the mole; Mog; The scarlet bird; Take flight; The captive; Open at your own risk; Dragonfly; The visitor, and Woof.

Where to buy it -
Wood Green Animal Shelters is a registered charity - number 298348

My links:
Twitter: @vickiejohnstone

What an awesome thing to do! I cannot wait to hear how you do. For my  friends outside of the UK, if you would like to help please go to Vickie's Just Giving page and Tweet it and Facebook it. Helping to spread the word will be a big help. I will be doing an upcoming post where I will be reviewing these four of Vickie's books. 

 Kiwi in Cat City  Kiwi and the Missing Magic           Kaleidoscope 

Please leave your comments, (and encouragement for Vicki), below!

Friday Feel Good

Friday Feel Good

I am a little late with this but it is something I have been meaning to jump on for awhile. So KB and Whitesnake forgive me, please, for coming in late. 

This is my feel good for this week. 

My grandson Victor sleeping with his friend. 

If you would like to see KB's please check out 

To join in the fun head over to Whitesnake's and check out his then join the linky. 

I think this is an awesome way to start the weekend feeling right. Hope you will join in! Maybe next week I will get it in on time. LOL

Comments are always welcome!

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