Go take a flying jump – and raise funds for LNK charity

Lives Not Knives, the Croydon charity that works with schools in a campaign against violent youth crime, is staging an all-day sky-diving event in May to help raise funds.

skydiveLNK hopes to raise a minimum of £500 each from each jumper, through donations and sponsorship. To make this cost-effective the total cost of the jump per person is £195 if paid upfront. LNK would like a £50 deposit by Monday, February 25, from each person who wants to take part in the jump in order to confirm your place on the day.

Eliza Ribeiro, the founder of LNK, says, “I will be confirming all places by Monday and I will send over all fundraising materials which will include a letter explaining what the money will be used for as well as fundraising forms.”

The event will take place on May 31, at Headcorn Parachute Club in Kent, less than an hour’s drive from Croydon.

What is a tandem sky-dive?
A tandem sky-dive is an amazing experience which allows you to jump out of a plane securely attached to a very experienced instructor. After a through briefing lasting about 30 minutes the jump is made from about 12,000 feet and includes a freefall of 30-40 seconds before your instructor opens your parachute. You will be given an opportunity to steer however the instructor remains in control at all times.

Are there any restrictions?
For safety reasons we cannot accept men over 14.5 stone (92kg) and women over 13.5 stone (86kg) and you may be weighed during registration.

You must be at least 16 years of age. Under 18s require written parental consent. Everyone must sign a declaration of fitness, anyone 40 or over must have this signed and stamped by their doctor. Forms will be provided on request. There is no upper age limit for tandem.

What about the weather?
Parachuting is a weather-dependent sport. The conditions we require to be able to take you jumping are good horizontal visibility, no solid cloud between the landing area and the exit point of the aircraft and wind no more than 20 knots. British weather can prevent jumps from taking place at a particular time but please remember when you book a date we expect you to be available for the whole day so that we can make the most of any weather opportunities. Weather may be unsuitable first thing but improve as the day goes on. If the weather does prevent your jump from taking place you must come back within six months or you will incur extra fees.

What does the day involve?
Upon arrival at the airfield you will need to present yourself to the Tandem Meeting Point to register. This is necessary as to determine the order in which you will jump. You will be also be given the opportunity to book a cameraperson to jump with you and film your experience (at an additional cost of £140). After registering you will come to the office to fill out your paperwork and pay any balance. When everyone booked to jump that day has completed their registration and paperwork we start the briefing. The briefing normally lasts between 30 and 45 minutes. Provided the weather is suitable we are then ready to take you jumping. This is done in order of your arrival at the Tandem Meeting Point.

Why does it take all day to jump everyone?
Headcorn Parachute Club operates one aircraft at a time which can make 20+ flights per day. We may have 40 people booked to make a tandem jump and up to eight instructors available. Each instructor will jump with four or five people. After each jump he will have to pack his parachute. Although the aircraft can take up to 14 people we never guarantee jumping more than two tandems at a time.

Can I bring spectators?
The airfield is open to the public and there is a small canteen on site. Spectators can attend but there are only limited facilities. The parachute landing area is off limits to members of the public. Please bear in mind that there can be a lot of waiting around on the day and there is no indoor seating provided for spectators.

Alcohol and Drugs
The consumption of alcohol is prohibited prior to jumping and until parachuting has finished for the day. Anyone suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be refused their jump and forfeit any monies paid.

If you want to help Lives Not Knives in its fund-raising by taking part in the sponsored sky-dive, contact Eliza Ribeiro at eliza@livesnotknives.org.

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