A Nottingham businessman has called on more people to do “something daring” after he completed his first-ever skydive at the age of 64.
Graham Shaw, chief operating officer of SMS Electronics in Beeston, took the leap into the unknown in June in order to raise money for Nottinghamshire Hospice.
He has raised £1,500 by completing his tandem skydive, after agreeing to sign up in order to do something different for a good cause – the hospice is SMS’s chosen charity of the year - and inspire others at the company to take on a personal challenge.
The skydive took place amid beautiful weather when Graham boarded a light plane at Langar Airfield and reached an altitude of 12,500ft, at which point the plane’s door opened and he and his instructor launched themselves into thin air.
After freefalling for 50 seconds, Graham’s instructor pulled the ripcord and it took them a further six minutes to parachute back down to the airfield.
The event was one of many charity skydives taking place in aid of the hospice this year, which is now looking for people to take part in another skydive in September.
He said: “The reality of what I was doing kicked in when I was sitting on the edge of the plane ready to fall out, but I told myself that it was going to happen and I should just try to enjoy it.
“It was an amazing experience. You could see the patchwork of fields far below and I was struck by how loud the air rushing past me was when we were freefalling, and how quiet it was after the parachute was deployed and we drifted down to earth.
“I have been in a hot air balloon but had never done anything like this before. I signed up because it’s a great charity but also because I wanted to show our employees what you can achieve if you put yourself forward.
“Loads of people have said they could never do a skydive, but I say that if I can do one at my age then there is always something daring people can do to take themselves out of their comfort zone.”
Nottinghamshire Hospice is funded purely by donations and it needs £2.7m every year to carry out its work caring for patients and their families across the county.
This year it wants to raise £50,000 by hosting a series of charity challenges and is looking for more daredevils like Graham to take part in a host of events, including the September skydive, running events and treks up Kilimanjaro and along the Great Wall of China.
To sign up, contact the fundraising team on 0115 910 1008 or email email@example.com
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