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Volunteer skydives to raise money for Maudsley Charity

Sandra Johnson is doing a sponsored skydive to raise money for Peckham Befrienders, a BME befriending service for people with mental health problems.

By Liz Morrow · August 19, 2019

Sanda Johnson skydive fundraising for Maudsley Charity brand

Sandra Johnson is doing a sponsored skydive on 21st September to raise money for Peckham Befrienders, a BME befriending service for people with mental health problems. It is run by SLaM’s Msaada programme, which is funded by the Maudsley Charity. 

She started volunteering at Peckham Befrienders in January 2019. “I discovered just how many people in the community are really isolated. Without it, they’d have no safe space where they can just go, listen to music, relax and socialise with other people.” 

Still I Rise

Since experiencing her own mental health problems ten years ago, she has campaigned for individuals who have gone through domestic abuse and mental ill health to be able to speak out safely about their experiences, and fulfil their potential.

She set up the organisation Still I Rise, which aims to provide support to people in the community creating a non-clinical, judgement-free environment and emphasise that no matter what they have endured they can still get better. 

Sharing her story to inspire others

Sandra says: “As someone who has been detained and treated at the Maudsley Hospital, I don’t want to be afraid to share my story if it helps to inspire hope for recovery in others.”

In the last couple of years she has challenged herself to conquer her fears and do things for the first time, by swimming with manta rays, and doing a bungee jump, despite not being able to swim, and being afraid of heights.  

Earlier this year she lost a close friend to suicide, and chose this particular challenge in his memory. “He inspired me to look after my physical health as a way to manage my depression, and taught me the importance of self-care. Thanks to him I’ve lost over 3 stone to be able to take part in this skydive.”