Vicar with vertigo to skydive for Christian Aid

The Reverend Mike Haslam suffers from vertigo but he is putting his fears to one side to raise money for Christian Aid.

Thousands of people across the UK will be raising funds for the charity during Christian Aid Week, which starts on Sunday.

Haslam will be doing his bit by taking part in his first ever tandem skydive from Dunkswell Airfield in Devon on 18 May. 

The father-of-four is a chaplain at Taunton Academy, Somerset, and hopes the leap of faith will raise more than £1,000 for the charity's aid work.  

Despite his fear of heights, Haslam previously climbed the fifteen 3,000ft mountains of Snowdonia for Christian Aid in 2009 and 2011.

Jumping from a plane is something different altogether though, he admits.

He said: "I am really scared of heights so this is a big test for me personally.

"But I love a new challenge and it is a great opportunity to do something exciting for a good cause which echoes my Christian values and belief that we should help those in poverty and ensure that they have a life before death.

"I've nearly reached my £1,000 target but I'm hoping it will raise a lot more - I know it will make a real difference to people's lives around the world."

Christian Aid regional coordinator for Somerset, Gillian Alexander, commended Haslam for his courageous efforts.

"We are thrilled that Mike is facing his fear and supporting us in this way," she said.

The theme of this year's Christian Aid Week is 'Bite Back At Hunger', tying in with the campaign Enough Food for Everyone IF.

The IF campaign is asking world leaders to take decisive action to end hunger.

"Hunger is the world's biggest health risk," said Alexander.

"It kills more people every year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. In developing countries, a third of all child deaths are linked to hunger.

"The money raised in Christian Aid Week will help poor communities around the world grow more food by adapting to climate change and securing land rights, so they can meet their immediate food needs.

"By taking part in Christian Aid Week people here can help others lift themselves out of poverty so that they thrive, not just survive."

To sponsor Haslam visit