I have been working within the Healthcare environment for over 12 years and I have seen many amazing people working in difficult situations. I work for a Healthcare Architects Practice and I have worked on many Mental Health Facility designs and construction projects, I feel proud of my achievements in helping to develop and build excellent facilities for mental health service users and staff. My job introduced me to working with Mind and other organisations/charities. Personally, I have used the services provided by Mind and understand the fantastic work that is undertaken to help people, I felt I should give something back and raise money for a great charity.  I wanted to celebrate my 40th birthday with something extreme and slightly out of my comfort zone, so I opted to Tandem Skydive freefalling at 13,000 feet from a perfectly safe airplane, skydive and parachute back to ground. 

I set up a fundraising page and emailed, texted, phoned, put posters up and even sent letters - anything I could think of to get my message that I was raising money for charity out there.  March 22nd 2015, it was a beautiful day, a little cloudy but nice, I arrived at the airfield a little nervous but really looking forward to it, I was booked in, short training session and ready to go. I was in the second plane so I got to witness the first plane go up and the skydivers come down, a great sight which gave me more enthusiasm to get up there. I boarded the plane and we climbed up to about 13,000ft, enjoying the view, breathtaking. The view was a mass of fields with small objects dotted around, clear roadways and very small moving objects, it was very high. We moved up to the door and sat on the edge, dangling my legs out for a few brief seconds I felt the extreme wind, then we fell out, twisted around to see the plane zooming off then freefalled at 120mph for 20 seconds, that was intense..! Amazing, literally was taking my breath away, then the instructor pulled the cord, a sudden change of pace and a quick jolt and the parachute was out. We then glided down to earth, an amazing sight, gently drifting in a quiet idyllic setting, simply stunning, we undertook a few spinning manoeuvres, then we descended to land, a slight bump and I was down, a truly amazing experience, one I will never forget and recommend to anyone. 

I felt proud to raise £600 for a worthwhile charity. I gained a great experience and memories which will stay with me forever, it was very rewarding to raise money and help those that need it most.  There are countless ways to raise money and anyone can do it, all it requires is a little desire and determination to achieve your goal, the money raised is priceless to those who receive the services provided.