North Cyprus – Paragliding for charity – Mission completed


Paragliding for Charity

Mission completed


By Mary Day

Will the cloud clear?

Will the cloud clear

Monday 9th June was a fine day for flying, the sun was shining, the wind had dropped and the clouds had even lifted on the mountain but had they lifted enough to allow three brave souls to Tandem Paraglide from St Hilarion mountain?

Roy Ashton, Marion Youden and Heather Dilley had all waited a week for the strong winds to subside that had plagued the charity event which they had all devoted so much time to in order to raise money for NCCCT, KAR and Tulips charities.

All set to go

All set to go

It must be said that Highline Air Tours need to be commended on the safety procedures that they strongly adhere to, the safety of our three brave souls and of course the three Paragliders that would guide them down the mountain was first and foremost.

Our three brave fundraisers waited at the landing site in Karaoğlanoğlu.  Rocking Roy was ready to roll as, after all, he had done a Tandem Paraglide before so was more than comfortable, Mindful Marion was very nervous as was Hesitant Heather but the cloud was lifting slowly and the deadline was fast approaching.   As supporters cheered them on they left the site to begin the journey up to the jump site where they were to embark on an experience of a lifetime.

The supporters waited and waited patiently for what seemed an eternity, a telephone rang, you could hear a pin drop with the sudden silence was this a call to say that the jump had been cancelled? No it was Angela from Highline Air Tours informing us that the jump was to go ahead but there would be a short delay due to waiting for the right weather conditions. I think the sigh of relief from all waiting would have been enough to help them get the lift that they needed and had been waiting for.

Supporters start to gather

Supporters start to gather

Roy Ashton was the first to jump as he needed assistance, Marion would be the second in line and Heather the last to go but finally at approximately 11:30 am we had lift off. The cheers and applause soon came from supporters on the ground when they saw the first Paraglider in the air partly I think also for the confirmation that there was no turning back now, it was with some great excitement that we watched as all three Paragliders began their descent down the mountain.

I must mention that Marion’s partner Michael Brown had paced the entire landing site whilst he waited for Marion’s descent. Heather was also supported by Carole King and Pam Kennedy from Tulips, her chosen charity, whilst Laura Curry and Mike Alican from NCCCT also came along to support Roy.  I have no idea as to how long they spent in the air as I was also filled with excitement myself and carried away with the thrill of waiting for them all to land.

Both Marion Youden and Heather Dilley had each taken on a huge challenge, Marion had faced her Vertigo and Heather had gained an inner strength to help her fight against Thyroid cancer.

Rocking Roy was totally thrilled with his paragliding experience and said, “My intention is to equal Peggy McAlpine’s record but I am only a young sprog of 80 and the wonderful Peggy was 104 I have a long wait but I am feeling positive, only 24 years to go”.

On landing Clive Welch handed Marion a well earned Gin and Tonic that he had promised to give her if she completed the jump, I think it went down rather well. Marvellous Marion said, “I think the adrenaline is still pumping and although I felt much more relaxed when the swimming pools looked about 3 cm in size I would definitely do it again”.A big cheer from all

Hero Heather said,” I felt very safe in the air and am so happy that I have done it and would be happy to do another jump, I return to England next week with renewed strength in my fight against Thyroid cancer”.

Rocking Roy, Marvellous Marion and Hero Heather managed to collectively raise almost 7000 Turkish Lira and now have a wonderful memory of a fantastic experience to take them forward in life, to challenge one’s fears is by no means an easy task.  I think they are very proud of themselves along with all those that came to support them, and so they should be.


All three fundraisers would like to thank Highline Air Tours for taking such good care of them and for helping them to raise such a large amount for charity.

Roy, Marion and Heather would also like to send out a huge thank you to all those that have sponsored them and enabled them to raise such a massive amount. would like to congratulate all three of you for completing the Tandem Paraglide and raising funds for KAR, NCCCT and Tulips.

For those that would like to try Paragliding please read more on Highline Air Tours website by clicking here

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