So this year I decided to do something I would remember for the rest of my life, something I never thought I would have the guts to actually do but always thought would be amazing. I wanted to do something unforgettable in memory of my nan who was a sufferer of type 2 diabetes.
Elizabeth Nappin, my nan, was an incredible woman who will always occupy the deepest space in my heart. Because of this, it was only natural for me to make the fundraising for the skydive as big as I could possibly make it. I was relentless in advertising the fact I was doing this.
I made posters, cards and flyers. I plastered it over all Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I approached local businesses, basically anyone and anywhere I thought I could get a little exposure.
An incredible volunteer for Diabetes UK got in contact with me offering help, the one and only Spencer Wimbleton. We spent many days fundraising and he was invaluable in helping me reach my target. The day of the skydive was perfect, the wind was low, the clouds few and far between, and the visibility was excellent. I was anticipating a long wait but I was told I could be in the air within 10 minutes so had no time to think.
Suited and booted, we walked over to this very small plane and took off. We set off from Perrenporth. We climbed and climbed, heading all the way over to Gwithian. I was absolutely blown away by the landscape, I could see Godrevy lighthouse, St. Michael's Mount and the Isles of Scilly all in one beautiful, breathtaking view.
Above the clouds
At 6,000ft we were above the clouds still steadily climbing to our target of 10,000ft. After about 25 relaxing minutes of sightseeing it dawned on me we had arrived. The door was pulled open, the cold wind howled in and this was it! I shuffled over to the edge, legs hanging out over the void, heart and mind in overdrive. Despite this, nothing was going to stop me from doing this, it meant too much. Sitting on the edge may have been the longest three seconds of my life, then it happened - we left the plane. The feeling was overwhelming, all-consuming and exhilarating. As we left the plane we did a back flip which, mixed with those powerful feelings, was so disorientating. We levelled off after a few seconds, facing the ground, which was miles away, wind blasting past us at 120mph.
Coming into land, with a little help
The free fall was amazing, it was so surreal, and seeing almost all of Cornwall from the air on such a glorious day was a privilege. The feeling of falling quickly disappears and is replaced by a calm floating feeling. I have never experienced something that felt calm and exhilarating simultaneously.
Then the parachute opened (thankfully) and we glided around gazing at the turquoise sea and rocky cliffs before spiralling down towards the patchwork of fields towards the big white arrow where we gracefully landed, with the biggest smile on my face. The following day, more donations came flooding in, raising the total amount to £2300!
I would like to thank everyone who supported and donated to the skydive, it has been an honour and a privilege to be a part of something such as this. This experience will sit in my heart with my nan for the rest of my life. Thank you.