Daredevil sisters Amanda Haynes and Callie Drabble took a huge leap of faith when they completed a 14,000ft skydive to raise funds for the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity.
Amanda, a Health Care Support Worker at the Urgent and Emergency Care Centre, was joined by her foster sister for the challenge on 7 August at Langar Airfield in Nottingham.
The intrepid pair have raised almost £1,000. Amanda was inspired to raise funds for her local NHS charity to help provide resources and quiet spaces which enhance mental health and wellbeing. Callie was inspired by her 93-year-old grandfather Dennis, who suffers from dementia and was recently cared for on ward A5.
Amanda, 36, from Conisbrough, said: “I wanted to fundraise for the charity and in particular for mental health resources because I see so many people dealing with mental health issues coming through the UECC. I wanted to do this for them and particularly the families who have lost their loved ones to a mental health condition. I wanted to do something more to show that we care.
“Callie was really inspired by the staff on ward A5 who cared for her granddad. She feels passionately about providing the added extras for dementia patients while they’re in hospital to make them feel less anxious.”
Amanda says the tandem skydive was one of the best experiences of her life.
“We were both incredibly nervous beforehand but the skydive team were brilliant at settling our nerves,” she said.
“I have to admit I did close my eyes as we tipped over the edge but it was very graceful. We were in free-fall for what felt like 10 minutes before we pulled on the parachute. Then we did lots of spins and loops!
“As soon as I got back onto firm ground, I wanted to do it again. It gave me a completely different view of the world and I loved falling serenely through the clouds. While I was up there I just thought about all the people dealing with mental health issues or whose families had lost loved ones and thought, ‘I’m doing this for you.’ I definitely want to do it again. I’m really proud we have raised so much money.”
The Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity raises funds to provide resources, equipment and projects which the NHS would ordinarily not be able to afford and which benefit our patients and their families. The funds raised by Amanda and Callie will help to provide resources for the UECC which boost mental wellbeing and resources for dementia patients.
Suzanne Rutter, Charity Engagement and Development Manager, said: “We are incredibly proud of all our fundraisers, especially those like Amanda and Callie who have such sky high fundraising ambitions. As the charity’s first ever skydivers they have shown that anything is possible. Taking on a fundraising challenge can be a life-changing experience and an opportunity to raise funds for your local NHS charity. I’m sure they will inspire others to take the plunge too.”
You can sponsor Amanda and Callie via their Just Giving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/amanda-haynes5