Patrick Woodward, 22 from Sudbury and hardworking Service Co-ordinator at TGA Mobility, has raised 250 for Action Aid by sky diving from 10,000ft even though he is commonly affected by vertigo.
Patrick is employed by the UK's leading mobility scooter specialist and is a key member of the service team, delivering maintenance and repairs for TGA customers nationwide. Since joining the Sudbury-based business 18 months ago, Patrick has become a highly valued member of staff moving from customer services to the busy and pressurised engineering department of the business where he now thrives. Outside of TGA, he is a keen mountain biker and enjoys attending music festivals, which the latter resulted in him signing up to skydive for charity. At the 2012 Reading Festival, Patrick signed up for a newsletter that subsequently advertised 10,000ft tandem jumps to raise money for Action Aid. He responded to an ad which resulted in Patrick successfully completing a jump on Easter Sunday at Hinton Skydiving Centre in Northamptonshire.
Patrick explains: "Surprisingly, considering my vertigo and fear of heights, I was calm throughout the whole experience - it was simply amazing! My girlfriend Tess also took on the challenge with a similar fear of heights. Our planes took off at approximately 10:30am and climbed to 10,000ft where we prepared for our tandem jumps. It was all very surreal and when you are above the soft white clouds, everything seems so serene and peaceful. Sat on the edge of the plane, there were no screams of terror and throughout the 50sec free fall I was quiet and felt really relaxed - very bizarre. I still can't believe Tess and I reached speeds over 120mph and as we were safely on terra firma in less than three minutes, it almost feels as though it never happened! I am also considering starting to train for my AFF licence so I can then jump independently which I'm sure would be even more breath taking. It was a great feeling to raise over 250 for Action Aid who fight poverty and injustice in over forty countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas - 100 of which was donated by the TGA Managing Director, Daniel Stone."
Daniel Stone, TGA Managing Director concludes: "Patrick is a valuable member of our specialist mobility scooter servicing team and his position, Service Co-ordinator, is a key role within the business. Here at TGA, we always support our employees if they become involved with external fundraising and as a business, we commonly support local and national charities including Success after Stroke and The Royal British Legion. I would like to congratulate Patrick for overcoming his fears to achieve this parachute jump and it was a pleasure for me to donate to his chosen and very worthwhile cause."
Patrick's skydiving challenge can be viewed on YouTube