A BRAVE group of friends have launched themselves out of a plane to help raise money for two Bridgwater children with rare illnesses.

Sarah Newbery, Kira Day, Leeanne Taylor and Jay Holland all took to the skies on Saturday, February 24, and helped raise £500.

The money will go toward Libby Budden, aged nine, and Jenson Bryant, aged five.

Libby was diagnosed with a condition called neurofibromatosis when she was three. It is a genetic condition which causes tumours to grow on nerve endings throughout the whole body.

Libby, a Bridgwater College Academy pupil, has an optic pathway glaucoma eye tumour and a cervical spine tumour.

Her condition has led to a number of other problems including learning difficulties, sensory processing disorder and an eating disorder.

She has an MRI scan every year to check on the growth of her tumours.

Meanwhile, superhero fan Jenson lives with a combination of conditions having been diagnosed with both type 1 diabetes and cerebral palsy.

His mum Melanie said: “Jenson was born 10 weeks early and weighed just 3lb 6oz and spent the first six weeks of his life in intensive care in Musgrove Park Hospital.

“At 13 months we took him to see a doctor when he had an ear infection and ended the week in the intensive care unit at Bristol Children’s Hospital.”

Jenson was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and five months later with cerebral palsy.

Earlier this month family friend and fitness instructor Natalie Roberts organised a Valentine's Ball for the two youngsters which raised £2,500 - meaning more than £3,000 has been raised with the additional skydive money.

Katrina Budden, Libby's mum said: "We want to say a big thank you to everyone who has donated; to Kira, Leeanne, Sarah and Jay for taking on the skydive challenge and especially to Natalie Roberts who has played a big part in organising the skydive and Valentine's Ball."