If you hadn’t heard, one of our intrepid supporters Nicola Andrews took a huge leap for the Cape Verde Foundation over Easter Weekend and jumped out of a plane to raise money.
We are so impressed and honoured that she has gone to such lengths for the Foundation that we just had to ask her a few questions about the lead-up to the jump and how she felt on the day. Founder of the Foundation and The Resort Group, Rob Jarrett, has also agreed to match the donations made so far, doubling Nicola’s total.
How much had you raised by the day of the jump?
Well, I had a text from friend who was going to be there to support me on the morning to ask how I was feeling and to say congratulations on achieving my target so I knew I’d reached it.
What was it like to reach your target?
I was absolutely thrilled because I know what a big difference it will make to the Cape Verde Foundation.
How did you feel in the days leading up to it?
I was starting to feel really nervous – the day before was the worst as people were saying, “just think tomorrow you’ll be at the airfield getting ready to jump”, and asking how I felt. Children from the school I work at were asking lots of questions about my jump too.
Did that change on the day itself?
I was absolutely fine until we were 5 minutes away and then felt terrified beyond words. It would have been so easy at this stage to just go home and admit defeat but because I was doing it for the Foundation I wasn’t going to let them down.
What words of support did you have from friends and family?
I had lots of texts and Facebook messages on the day offering support and encouragement. It kept me focused as to why I was doing the sky dive.
What happened when you got to the airfield?
After checking in, I was called for my safety briefing. Sitting in the room listening to what positions we needed to be in for our own safety was making me really nervous. I hadn’t googled to see how far 15,000ft was but we were told that we would free fall for 2 miles and the other mile we would have our parachute out to glide around and enjoy the views, that’s when it hit me how high it was. Leaving the safety briefing, I then went to meet all my family and amazing friends who had came to support me.
When I was called to get my suit and harness on, my heart was in my mouth. I was introduced to George who was the guy I would be attached to. He must have been able to see I was nervous as he was making a lot of joke and it instantly made me feel more relaxed.
How did it feel when you were about to jump?
When we were in the plane, George asked how high I thought we were – I said 5,000ft but we were only 1,500ft. At that point, I just wanted to get off the plane. The plane kept climbing higher and higher. I saw the sign in the aeroplane saying that 15,000ft is the highest you can skydive without oxygen. The light went green signalling we were at 15000ft and we could all start jumping.
I was fourth to jump, when the guy in front of me had gone I knew there was no turning back. We shuffled towards the door, ready to take our position to jump. George reminded me again why I was doing this jump as well as facing my fears of flying and heights. I knew I was doing it for something close to my heart but looking down standing on the edge of the plane waiting to free fall was the most terrifying thing I have ever experienced.
Can you describe the experience of jumping?
George threw us out the plane and we instantly fell head first, the feeling was amazing. The wind was so loud as I was free falling and everything seemed a blur until our parachute came out. I could then see Exmouth, South Wales, Hinckley Point and eventually I could see all my family and friends waiting for me to land.
You’ve done so much for the Foundation already – what is it that motivates you?
Having children myself and working as a teaching assistant in their school, I know how important education is. Also, it goes without saying that every child deserves a good quality of life.
How do you hope this helps the Foundation and the people of Cape Verde?
I hope they know they have support from others and that people want to help.
What’s next for you? Is there anything else you’d like to do?
I would love to spend a day working within a school or youth centre in Cape Verde when we go back next summer. We will also carry on sending out toiletries, clothes and toys and I have been invited to talk to a local Brownies group who would like to know how they could fundraise and help the foundation. This definitely isn’t the end of the Andrews family helping out the Cape Verde Foundation.
If you would like to know how you could help or donate, just contact us today.
The Cape Verde Foundation has received an incredible €1,389.50 from Nicola’s brave skydive fundraiser. We want to thank her once again for this selfless and generous act. Thank you Nicola!