A Canvey councillor is exchanging the confrontational atmosphere of the council chamber for an altogether different adrenalin rush as she gears up for a skydive in aid of a struggling charity.

Joan Liddiard, who represents the Canvey Island Independent Party, is undertaking the jump to raise money for the Citizens Advice Bureau.

The Castle Point branches face debts of up to £50,000 this year due to the economic downturn, and could be forced to close offices in Benfleet and Canvey. The charity is also struggling to recruit volunteers to man its help desks, despite an increased number of inquiries due to the recession.

Mrs Liddiard, who volunteers as a secretary in the Canvey branch, said: “Where else would people get free advice?

“It covers everything from debts to sorting out relationship problems.

“Without it people wouldn’t know where to go. Everyone who works there gives up an awful lot of their time, and it’s an important part of the community.”

Mrs Liddiard needs to raise £400 to take part in the skydive, but is hoping to collect much more in sponsorship.

She added: “I’m looking forward to the jump.

“I’ve got really bad knees, so landing should be interesting.

“People think I’m mad to do it, but I’m sure people with much worse health problems than me have done parachute jumps in the past.”

To sponsor her, call Joan on 07917 661474 or e-mail joanliddiard@hotmail.com