Former Spurgeons employee Lesley Blount went big with her celebrations to mark reaching 70 this year. Here Lesley blogs for us on her skydive from 10,000ft above Salisbury Plain, raising funds for Spurgeons and another charity close to her heart…
Saturday 13 April 2019 started with a birthday breakfast for me in a hotel in Salisbury, where my husband and I had stayed the night before with friends from our Leicestershire village. It was a wonderful start to the day. I could barely contain my excitement about my skydive but I made sure that I ate well, as advised, to make sure my tummy didn’t react negatively to a 125mph plummet!
Once we arrived at GoSkydive’s Sarum site, north of Salisbury, we were joined by more friends from my original Mancunian home town of Radcliffe, along with my daughters, their husbands and children who had travelled from the East Midlands and London to share the day.
Much to my surprise and delight, Liisa Brown, Senior Practitioner at Spurgeons’ Bulford Children’s Centre, near Salisbury, also came along bearing a card, flowers and good wishes from Spurgeons. Meeting Liisa proved a great opportunity for me to catch up with first hand news of the work at the chalk face of Spurgeons Children’s Charity. It reminded on the spot that this jump was about raising money for the excellent and most valuable work Spurgeons’ dedicated project workers put in to improving the lives and futures of children and families in most need in our country.
Once up in the air, I waited for the fear to arrive, but it didn’t! My instructor, Gary, was so calm and confident that I forgot to be nervous and simply stayed excited, even when sitting at the door of the plane. Gary, of course, had done this nine thousand and odd times so there was no fear from that quarter. Tipping out of the plane was a moment I shall never forget. Do it folks, it’s amazing! I must confess, though, I did scream for the entire thirty seconds of the free-fall – just as I used to do in my youth on roller coasters!
The parachute drop was indescribably peaceful and calm in contrast to the dive and the views over land and coast warmed my heart. England is beautiful.
All in all, it was a privilege to be able to celebrate my big birthday in such a way and to do what little I can towards improving the aspirations of children through the priceless work of Spurgeons.
Lesley’s skydive raised £1,000 for Spurgeons. The other charity to benefit was Loughborough-based Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People, where Lesley acts as a volunteer.
Lesley Blount was project manager for Spurgeons’ C Project at Clifton, in Greater Manchester.
- If you would like to volunteer to raise funds to support Spurgeons’ work for disadvantaged children and families, please contact Brian Bennett at Spurgeons on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01933 412412