Brave young woman skydives in alcoholic father’s memory to support addiction recovery project

“I’ll always be proud of him”, says young woman who skydived in father’s memory.

Abi Mae Haley’s father sadly passed away in 2014, shortly before her 15th birthday.  He had struggled with alcohol addiction.  Unfortunately, though he had started to turn his life around, the illness had already taken its toll.  Abi recently completed a sponsored skydive to raise funds and awareness of addiction and where to get help.

“Kirklees in Recovery worked with my dad to plan the best road to recovery. I honestly saw a change in him in such a short period of time, a change so good that he started to plan for his future again.  Maybe, just maybe, if he had found this place of support sooner, things would be different.

Before Dad passed away I was sent a video of him training to do a sky dive.  I looked at this frequently and I could see that he was, at last, doing something that made him happy.  That’s where I got the idea to raise awareness of the place that helped him, and to finish something that he started.

I take my hat off to the people working at Kirklees in Recovery as I know first-hand some of the difficulties they must face every day, but I also know how amazing it is to see the small improvements in the people they work with”.

On Father’s Day, Sunday 18th June, Abi Mae completed the skydive her dad had been training for.  She set up a crowdfunding page and reached her £500 target.

“I was terrified at the thought of doing a skydive, but like many of those who suffer from addiction, I faced my fears and the result was amazing.  The money I donate to Kirklees in Recovery will go towards making a difference to the lives of those who they help; from providing the smallest of things like a cup of tea and a friendly chat to helping to support their recovery programmes which can be the difference between recovery and relapse.  Helping Kirklees in Recovery can also help to provide extra services in more rural communities, reaching out to those who are most isolated in our local areas.

I never thought I would lose my dad as soon as I did, but I will always be so proud of the man he was and I hope that I am making him proud now by inheriting his strong and positive outlook in life, and by making the most of what I have now.  I chose to donate to Kirklees in Recovery because even the smallest amount of money could make a difference to someone’s life, as well as their families and friends”.

September is National Recovery Month and Kirklees in Recovery started celebrating by walking from their Dewsbury recovery hub to the Huddersfield hub on 1st September where Abi presented a cheque for £717.

Event organiser, Sheena West, said,

“Recovery Month is to raise awareness of addiction, to help reduce the stigma surrounding it and to let people know there is help.  Everyone knows someone who knows someone affected by addiction, yet we all try to ignore it because we don’t know how to help.  Addiction to drugs and alcohol is a serious illness and many people have no idea that you can recover and lead a better life, free from the need or desire to use any mood-altering substance.

We have been amazed at Abi Mae’s fundraising.  She has shown a strong and positive attitude at such a difficult time in her life and she is an inspiration to all of us. She has truly done a wonderful thing and I know her dad would be very proud indeed. Her generosity will directly help those with addiction issues. She is always welcome at our project and we wish her every success in her future”.

With thanks and much love from us all at KiR x

Abi’s story was also covered in The Huddersfield Daily Examiner