By Rach Griffiths
Brave Crewe man Steve Parton took to the skies today and raised hundreds of pounds for Saying Goodbye on behalf of his relative Claire who has spent the last few months organising the event in memory of her son who she sadly lost at 20 weeks gestation.
Saying Goodbye is the name of the division of The Mariposa Trust that offers support for those that have lost a child and is very widely known across the UK.
The Crewe News went down to Tilstock airfield in Whitchurch to speak to the family in what was a very emotional day.
We arrived at 8am to have a look around the centre and had a chat with Steve about how he was feeling.
“I can’t actually wait to do it, this has been planned for so long now and means so much to the family and it was a pleasure to be representing Saying Goodbye, Claire has wanted to help to raise money to help the charity for a long time now and we are all glad the day is finally here.
I don’t feel nervous at all yet, to be honest I think this will be a fantastic experience, most of all we are doing this to remember a special little boy and we will all be thinking about him today.
I hope we raise lots of money to help other families who have been through similar experiences”.
Steve has never done anything like this before so he was looking forward to the short training session by highly trained skydivers from the centre.
He was going to be doing a tandem jump but this was all dependant on weather as it was very cloudy and breezy, the centre said we would have to wait for a few hours for it to clear up before he could get the go ahead.
A Tandem skydive experience is done in a dual harness so you are securely attached to an experienced Tandem Instructor who will give you a taste of what skydiving is all about.
Because the Tandem Instructor takes control of vital functions such as opening the Tandem Parachute and Landing, your preparation for the jump just takes 30 minutes.
Weather conditions finally improved and the plane was brought out of the hangar, Steve was promptly given a jump suit and boarded the plane.
They were soon up in the air and was it was surprising how quickly the plane climbed to 10,000 feet which was the height that Steve and jumpers for other charities were leaping from.
They soon emerged from the plane and within around 9 minutes they were all safely back on the ground.
Steve commented on his experience:
That was the best thing I have ever done, it was starting to be a little nerve racking as we got to full height but nothing would of changed my mind about doing it.
The take off and flight was very smooth.
It was surreal when finally we left the plane, you didn’t really have a sense of the speed you were travelling at.
The maximum speed we reached during freefall was somehwere around 170 – 180 MPH, we slowed to around 120 MPH by the time my trainer deployed our parachute.
It feels fantastic when you are up there and if there is anyone out there that is thinking about doing this for charity then I’d recommend that you give it a go.
If I had the chance to go again right now I would, the whole experience and the fact it has helped so many people has been fantastic.”
Claire would like to thank all who have been so kind to donate to this skydive and was very happy that all her hard work organising the event and support from local people has paid off.
Thank you so much to everyone for their kindness, today has been very emotional for the whole family.
The highlight of the whole thing was the second when Steve jumped from the plane and my two children were so excited watching him.
The brilliant thing about today is that my family have all come together to remember a special boy and support me in my idea to help others.
All the money that we have raised today means that my boy will live on through helping other people and that is something very special to me.
I am hoping to arrange more events in the future to keep the memory of my son alive and to carry on helping other families.
Today has been a wonderful experience.
There is still time to donate to this charity skydive here Jump for love Skydive, every single £1 donated will make a huge difference.
Please read claires story on the link below where you can also donate to the cause on the links provided
If you would like to find out more information about Saying Goodbye and the work that they do please take a few minutes to visit their website
If you would like to raise money for a charity of your choice then please contact the sky diving centre at Tilstock on 01948 841111 or visit them on this link The Parachute Centre
Story ©Rach Griffiths 2014
Video ©The Crewe News 2014
Pictures ©The Crewe News 2014