That’s it, we were all booked for Saturday 7th September 2019 and I was super excited, but will we get 10 supporters out there who are up for a challenge?

After a few weeks of head in the paperwork making sure our booking forms, terms and conditions, welcome pack, communications and marketing materials are all correct and in place, I am ready for launch day!

Are you up for a thrill of a lifetime experience? Can you take to the skies and be part of our Hospice of the Valleys charity skydive day?

Still worried if this is something our supporters current and new would be interested in, who’d have thought that by the end of day one, we would have 8 wonderful supporters signed up!   The remaining 2 spaces weren’t far behind either!

After months of supporting our skydivers along their fundraising journey, providing hints and tips, resources, promoting their own fundraising events and the Hospice organising events to help them with their efforts, reminding people to check their portal for event information, have I got everything I need to take with me, paperwork, banners, camera, we are suddenly at jump day. Where did that time go!

The alarms set for 5.00am although I can’t sleep and I’m pretty sure the skydivers can’t either. In a short while no less than 26 amazing people would be piling into their cars, heading down to Swansea ready to show Swansea Skydive Centre what Hospice of the valleys team of skydivers was made of – I am in awe! We actually attracted 31 amazing people, all willing to step (pushed) out of a plane – but someone only went and broke their ankle, resulting in a group jumping at a later date – Sending you a speedy recovery!

We’ve all arrived and on time, quick team photos whilst everyone is together and not wondered off.  Everyone’s chatting, a few giggles and plenty of trips to the toilet, let’s just hope the instructors are having a good day!

My stomach is turning and I’m not even going up with them but I’m definitely there 100% all the way to support them.

I have heard first hand from so many of their stories and reasons for taking on probably the biggest challenge of their lives.

How they have been supported personally as patients by the Hospice through times of great pain and suffering and somewhere to turn to in their hour of need. Family members who have been supported through their loved ones illnesses making them feel they are not alone.

Life limiting illness and the loss of a loved one affects so many people and  in so many different ways and sometimes there’s a question on so many minds… what can I do to say thank you and to help others in their time of need?

I feel privileged to be able to work in a role where I love my job.  I get to meet incredible people who perform acts of kindness and go above and beyond and out of their comfort zones, to rise to the challenge whilst raising vital funds for the patients and their families of the Hospice.

Without these wonderful people, our dedicated team of nurses and family support would not be able to reach out and provide the fantastic care and support that they do – together they all complete the triangle of real life heroes 💕

Everyone is briefed, everyone can lift their legs for exit, free fall and landing – we are good to go.  Well not me… someone has to be on the ground to show them where to land of course!

Each time the plane went into the air with a group of skydivers, Hospice staff and nail biting friends and family spend 15 minutes staring into the sky, convinced anything that moved was THE PLANE.  And then the clouds part and there it is, the base reflecting in the sunlight and all of a sudden it’s like stones falling in the sky. It’s incredible to watch them free falling and then the opening of the chute (amongst muttering of thank goodness – and that wasn’t just me). How graceful they all land.

I’ve never seen faces so beaming with exhilaration and their first words “that was awesome, I want to go and do it again!”

To be able to say I was part of that journey and experience with our skydivers was amazing. What truly brave and inspirational people they all are.

We’ve stayed all day to watch the morning group and the afternoon group, it’s time to pile back in the car and travel home.

After unloading the jeep of banners and all my spare kit and food, well I was in the scouts and the moto “be prepared” I slumped onto the sofa, still feeling I was on cloud nine. I couldn’t believe what I had just witnessed and an overwhelming feeling of being so proud of so many people, what they had achieved, seeing their friends and families reactions and knowing this challenge was going to raise so much money to support so many other people in our community.  I have had the privilege of meeting some wonderful people and they have helped me make memories and allowed me to share with them a moment of their lifetime.

I am very much looking forward to continuing to support our other skydivers in their fundraising efforts and of course the return to Swansea Skydive Centre, together with all our wonderful supporters on their journeys.