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Andrew Foster from Sheppey jumps 12,000 feet for Guide Dogs Uk

A welder, blinded when an oil drum exploded in his face at work, jumped 12,000 feet to raise money for the charity that helped him regain his independence.

Andrew Foster, from Minster, Sheppey, lost sight in both eyes after the barrel he was cutting burst apart at Highway Care Ltd’s premises near Maidstone in August 2012.

Andrew Foster with his sky dive instructor Dave
Andrew Foster with his sky dive instructor Dave

The drum’s lid struck him in the face, causing fractures to his eye sockets, jaw and cheekbones and a serious brain injury.

Andrew’s life was turned upside down.

But in 2017, after almost two years of being on the waiting list, he was given Nevis, a golden retriever from Guide Dogs UK.

He credits the pooch with restoring his confidence.

To give something back to the charity, the 43-year-old father-of-two has spent months raising money ahead of the jump, on August 20, which saw him skydive out of an aeroplane at Headcorn Aerodrome.

Andrew suffered severe facial injuries when an oil drum he was cutting with a plasma cutter exploded
Andrew suffered severe facial injuries when an oil drum he was cutting with a plasma cutter exploded

When asked if he was nervous ahead of the feat, Andrew said: “I was actually remarkably calm. The nerves started when I sat on the edge of the plane to jump out.

“The initial free-fall was a bit terrifying - you’re just waiting for something to happen, but once you get yourself into it, it’s fantastic I would be happy to do it again,” he added.

Andrew said he wanted to raise at least £500 from his dive. He's raised more than £1,000.

“The charity gets very little funding so every penny counts,” he said.

“The money will go towards training puppies to become working guide dogs, to help others regain some independence.

“Having Nevis has helped change my life tremendously.

Andrew Foster's guide dog Nevis (16215743)
Andrew Foster's guide dog Nevis (16215743)

“Before I had him, I made excuses not to go out, but now I’m happy to as he has given me so much confidence – that’s why I want to give something back to the charity.

“I can’t thank people enough for donating. It’s tremendous what they’ve done, to have donated money for a fantastic cause.”

To add to his total visit his JustGiving page.

To find out more about Andrew’s guide dog, find ‘Nevis the guide dog’ on Facebook.


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