Jumping from 14,000ft for Mind
Eight members of Simplyhealth's Customer & Brand team conquered their fears to complete a skydive for the nominated 2018 Simplyhealth Great Run Series charity partner Mind. Caroline Sharp tells us why they decided to fall from 14,00ft:
When arriving at Netheravon airfield at the end of September, I get a message from Neema in our team; `Where is everyone?' It says. She was genuinely worried that it was an elaborate joke and we'd all left her to go it alone. But the Customer and Brand team are braver souls than that, and one by one we all arrived and registered for our skydive.
Apparently it was one of the best days of the year for visibility with a perfect blue sky. 'You can even see the Isle of Wight when you get up there,' my instructor says - but it was way too early for me to think about that.
We wanted to support Mind after it was chosen as our nominated charity for the Simplyhealth Great Run Series. We all knew about the great work it does to ensure everyone who is experiencing a mental health issue gets the support they need. What better reason did we need?
Luke was probably the most enthusiastic about the idea, as we promised to choose a date to coincide with his 30th birthday. Fortunately, his enthusiasm was still there on the day and he was the first person to jump. He landed safely and we all breathed a sigh of relief. Neema was the next to go, and in her instructor's 14 years of doing tandem sky dives, is apparently the only person to do the `running man' while jumping from the plane.
Then it was my turn, and as I gave my four and two year old sons a kiss, I tried not to think about what I was about to do. I joined Wendy and Craig in the plane, and there were lots of brave smiles on the ascent. Then before we knew it Wendy was gone - the speed of how quickly she disappeared from the plane was remarkable.
I was up next, and as I hung out of the side of the plane trying to remember my training (where I was I supposed to put my legs again?!) I was suddenly out, zooming towards the ground at 140mph. The feeling of the wind charging at you, the ground spinning, your ears blocking, eyes streaming and your head frantically trying to process it all cannot really be imagined unless you have done it yourself. And thankfully I can now say I have done it myself.
Jayne, Bambos and Georgie then all touched down safely and we were a complete team once again...phew! Importantly we raised over £5,000 for Mind, which was massively helped by Simplyhealth matching our efforts.
The skydive team included: Bambos Neophytou, Caroline Sharp, Neema Cox, Jayne Fearn, Craig Hurford, Luke Trudgett, Georgina Howard and Wendy Cummins.