Helen Harper, 52, from Harpenden is sharing her experience of completing a charity skydive, in a bid to encourage others to take a similar leap of faith and raise money for Rennie Grove.
Helen decided to dive out of an aeroplane, despite having a life-long fear of heights, to raise money for Rennie Grove after her dad was cared for by our nurses before he died.
“The care that not only my dad, but the whole family, received from Rennie Grove was so remarkable that I knew I wanted to do something way outside my comfort zone to raise lots of money for the charity.
“On the day of the skydive I was surprisingly calm. I wasn’t sure how I would react until I was up in the air but I really surprised myself when I realised that I had actually only closed my eyes twice during the entire experience. And one of those was when they weighed me before we even set off!
“The feeling as you come out of the plane really is like nothing else. At first you’re hurtling towards the ground at alarming speed and it gives you such an adrenaline rush. Then you open your arms which slows down the descent before the parachute opens and everything slows down.
“For me that was the most amazing part. After the noise of the plane and the air rushing past your ears during the initial descent, a real quiet calmness descends once the parachute is open. That was when I really opened my eyes and took in the view – I could see for miles and miles. It was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before and I shouted ‘hi Dad’ as we came down, because it was all in memory of him.
“If anybody is looking for something different to do to raise money this year, I would highly recommend the skydive. If you’re anything like me, it will really push your outside of your comfort zone, but it will definitely be worth it!
“As it was such a huge challenge for me, my friends and family were very generous in their donations. Through a combination of sponsorship, fundraising events and Gift Aid, I’ve raised more than £3,000. I’m so pleased to have been able to give back to Rennie Grove in this way after its nurses provided such exceptional care to my dad when he needed it.”
If you would like to find out more about completing a skydive to raise money for Rennie Grove, click here.