I’m not a fan of flying. I get anxiety which results in holes being made in armrests from my white-knuckle grip! However, here I was, sitting on the floor of a plane so small you could high-five the pilot and feel the engine chugging underneath you, as we climbed to 13,000ft.
Unfortunately, the weather had not been on our side and we had already had to postpone the jump three times over two years, so I didn’t really believe it was happening when I was told to suit up and get ready! It wasn’t just me; Mark Oxley was sitting (hopefully) just as nervous just behind me in the plane ready to take the plunge as well.
The climb in the plane seemed to take forever, but then all of a sudden, the door was open, we were falling through cloud, and I was screaming. My instructor LCpl Lee Crudgington, who had my life in his hands, had told me that is was easier to breath in freefall if I kept talking.. so that’s my excuse!
This quickly turned into relieved laughter as the parachute opened, we fell through the cloud and the ground was revealed like a beautiful quilt beneath us. We floated back down to earth but I was on cloud nine, exhilarated and raring to go again!
22 of us signed up to jump back in 2015, and despite it being two years later, we weren’t the last to jump.
Looking forward to spring of next year, I will be back on the airfield cheering on the last of the group which will include CC Mike Barton & CC Dee Collins, as long as my video doesn’t put them off!
To date, the team have raised an absolutely fantastic £16,101.86!
Thank you to everyone that has sponsored us!
You can still support us by visiting http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/TeamPTCSkydive
Back to reality, and it was back out on the road to another New Recruits input at South Yorkshire Police. Around 85% of the charity’s running costs are provided by you – Serving and Retired Officers. That is why it is so important for us to be out and about speaking to as many non-donors as possible.
This last month has been no different, with the team attending over 20 New Recruit and Pre-Retirement Courses across our constituent forces. Whilst this has meant the office has been quiet, it is always important to keep this personal engagement as a priority for the team.
En-route to the next input, Humberside New Recruits, I dropped in to see one of our Ambassadors, Graham Johnstone, who is hosting a Wellbeing Event at Forest Pines, Wednesday 4th October. We are extremely fortunate to have so many dedicated supporters who offer their time to promote the PTC.
This month, St Andrews also hosted an open day as part of Heritage Open Days, and a number of Ambassadors supported the event by sharing their personal experiences of using the centres. This was extremely well received and the feedback from visitors was wonderful.
“Lovely – extremely well-equipped and friendly. This centre is obviously meeting a lot of urgent needs. It was nice to hear from someone who has had to use the centre and has since recovered due to their help’’
Wendy Bartlett and I attended the National Association of Retired Police Officers Conference in Scarborough this month. As always it proved a valuable opportunity to catch up with NARPO representatives from across the country and promote the PTC’s continued support of Retired Officers.
Personally, it was also a lovely opportunity to catch up with the other member services’ including Police Roll of Honour Trust, Police Dependants Trust, PMAS and Hearing Star. It is important for us to keep in touch and work closely in partnership to best support the Police Family.
Thankfully I was also able to make time to take part in a staff Relaxation and Stress Awareness class. These workshops are included in the PTC’s Psychological Wellbeing Programme so it is good for staff to see what is on offer and how we can support all of our police patients as effectively as possible.
But it also highlights to us all, how important it is to look after our own wellbeing and practice these strategies in daily life. ..I did find myself doing the square breathing technique in the plane when they opened the doors…
Donor Recruitment & Charity Engagement Supervisor