When we first met the Andrews family in 2012, we had no idea how much they would come to help the Foundation. It was only in August 2015 that they were last flying over to Cape Verde with an extra suitcase filled with clothes and toys to personally donate to the children of one of the schools there. Even seven year old Noah and five year old Trinity got involved, which we could not be more grateful for, giving away some of their own pocket money to provide for the children.
It came as little surprise then, when we discovered they wanted to do more to help, but even we didn’t imagine what that would entail! Mum, Nicola Andrews, is going to great heights for an incredible skydive to raise money for the foundation.
Given that she’s terrified of heights and flying, this is a huge challenge. We spoke to her to find out more about it.
How did you first come across the Foundation?
We started going to Cape Verde in June 2012 and stayed at MELIA Tortuga. While we were there, they were doing a photo shoot for the hotel’s website and asked my son to be in some of the photos. My husband and I started talking to Rob Jarrett and he would always stop to talk to us whenever he saw us afterwards, along with some of his staff members who were out there as well.
We kept in touch with Lisa Kellett Jones occasionally via email. We decided to go back in August 2015 and, after getting in touch with Lisa, we asked if there was anything we could take out and she then put us in touch with someone in the Cape Verde office who told us all about the Cape Verde Foundation.
What inspired you to raise money for the Foundation?
We decided we didn’t need to take a suitcase each so decided to fill one with clothes, toys and toiletries to give to the foundation.
My son Noah, 7 and daughter Trinity, 5 started sorting through toys they wanted to give to the children, saved their pocket money and enjoyed going to the shops to decide what to buy for the children. A The Resort Group PLC representative kindly arranged for us to visit Centro Juvenil Cha De Matias School in Espargos whilst we were on holiday to give over the items ourselves. To see the children’s faces light up was amazing.
We have since sent out 3 large parcels to them and with the help of some mums from my children’s school and sent shoeboxes for their Christmas Shoebox appeal. It’s a memory that will stay with us all forever, seeing how little the children had but how happy they are. Noah in particular has changed, like many children he would normally ask for toys but it was his birthday the following month after being in Cape Verde and we asked what he would like. He replied that he would like a football.
I said he already had a couple and he said, “It’s not for me mummy, it’s to send to the children who don’t have anything.” It made me feel incredibly proud that we had the experience and how thoughtful my son was.
Why did you choose to do a skydive?
I’ve always wanted to do a skydive but being scared of heights and not liking flying, I had never taken the plunge to actually book it. After visiting Cape Verde in August last year as a family, we wanted to do more to help but didn’t know how, apart from sending parcels. I decided I would get on and book it but would only do it to help raise money for the Cape Verde Foundation.
What preparations have you had to make?
Apart from booking a date for the jump and setting up the just giving page to raise money there hasn’t been any other preparations to do apart from break the news to my mum who I knew would be terrified for me.
What will happen immediately before hand?
I need to arrive at the airfield at 8am so an early start, but then I haven’t got all day to have to think about it. The experience will last for 3 hours as I’ll need to be put into the overalls, given the safety briefings and then off I will go into the airplane into the sky – ready to jump 15000ft. Thankfully, I have no concept how far that is, probably just as well!
How do you think you’re going to feel on the day?
Terrified! I’m working the day before so I won’t have much time to think about it until I actually get to the airfield.
Who is coming to watch you?
My husband James, my son Noah (who wanted to do it as well so he could feel what the clouds feel like), my daughter Trinity, my mum and dad, a very good family friend Rob and his family, and our family friend Jamie, who is also a photographer so will be taking some pictures of me, and his wife Zara. Although others friends have been asking for details as they would like to watch as well.
Do you think you’ll visit Cape Verde again soon?
We will be going back to Cape Verde next August 2017 to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. We would love to revisit the school to see what we can do to help the foundation further.
What draws you back to the island?
We love the fact that Cape Verde has it all. We love the MELIA Tortuga as it’s small and quiet, which is what we like in a holiday. A few minutes walk away along the beach and its like being in the Caribbean, the beach is stunning. The weather is great all year round and one of the most important things is how friendly the staff are, nothing is ever too much trouble. It’s perfect for children and only 6 hours flight time from the UK.
How much money have you raised so far and what is your goal?
I would love to raise £1000, I’m currently at 40% of my target and have 3 weeks to go! I’m determined to raise it.
Would you like to say anything to the people who have donated so far and the people who might donate?
Just to thank them so much. People close to me know how much the foundation means to my family and me. I’ll make you all proud.
We’re already incredibly proud of Nicola for all that she’s done and we wish her all the best on this amazing endeavor. Join us in contributing to her justgiving page to help her reach her goal of £1000!