Greenwich woman skydives to raise funds for eating disorder charity

A woman in recovery from multiple eating disorders has jumped out of a plane from 10,000ft to raise money for charity.

Calia Afeltra, aged 33, from Greenwich, has skydived to raise money for Beat, an eating disorder charity.

She hopes that her fundraising will help the 1.25 million people in the UK affected by these serious mental illnesses to get the support they need.

Calia took part in the skydive in Peterborough on October 8 as part of Beat’s annual Big Jump event, which saw people coming together to skydive across the UK to raise awareness of eating disorders. She has raised almost £600 so far.

Calia said: “I have been battling with an eating disorder all my life. It has manifested itself in different ways over the years, but it has been my coping mechanism, my attempt to feel in control of my life.

“As you can imagine, during such a traumatic experience like the pandemic, things only began to get worse and I felt my physical and mental health worsen, and I was losing the love and enthusiasm I had for life.

“When I tested positive for Covid earlier this year, I used this time to think about the life I want to live and the person I want to be,” Calia explained.

“I made the decision to fully commit to my recovery. This is the scariest thing but also the bravest step I could ever have taken – to learn to trust my body and love myself from the inside out.

“A few weeks ago I was walking in the park on a beautiful sunny day in London, and I thought ‘I am blossoming like this flower, I am coming home to myself, I am reconnecting with that free spirit who used to dance like no-one is watching.’ What could be more beautiful than that?

“And that is why I wanted to jump: because every day I am that tiny bit closer to being free and I want to help others get the support they need so they can be, too.”

Anna Page, community fundraising officer at Beat, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to Calia for sharing her story and for choosing to fundraise for Beat.

“Sadly, the pandemic has had a huge impact on those with eating disorders, with many experiencing increased anxiety and distress during the past few years.

“Skydiving is an amazing achievement, and Calia’s fundraising will help ensure that our team is able to help as many people across the UK as possible.”

You can donate to Calia’s JustGiving page here.

Pictured top: Calia skydiving for the Beat charity (Picture: Beat)

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