Over the years CWUHA trustees and supporters have done wacky and physical challenges to raise much needed funds for CWUHA - but Julie Upton, CWU Executive Member went one step further by hurling herself out of a plane at 15,000 feet to raise money for the CWUHA-supported Kilima Hewa School in Moshi, Tanzania.
“Well, it was 3rd time lucky with the Lancashire weather, and I finally got to 'jump' on Sunday 24th November. Whilst the two postponements played havoc with my nerves and adrenalin levels, they were a blessing in disguise for my fundraising - and for the kids at the CWUHA sponsored Kilima Hewa School in Moshi, Tanzania. I am so thrilled to say that, beyond anything I had hoped for; I have now reached my revised target of £1,500.
The whole experience has been amazing. The fabulous support of my CWU colleagues, friends and family has truly "raised me up" (sounds corny I know, but true!). That said, my immediate family continued to show their solidarity "remotely" and, even on the 2nd & 3rd attempt, couldn't bring themselves to come and watch me hurl myself towards the ground from 15,000ft. I can't think why!
The freefall was breathtaking (literally). The senses overload as I fell for approx 50 seconds at 120mph and -10 degrees (I'm told) does a bit more than catch your breath. But, when the shoot opened and you have about 6 minutes to soak in the view and the sense of achievement, it is out of this world. I was even allowed to steer myself for a while and promptly turned 180 degrees, away from Blackpool and towards The Lake District (too many memories of former NCU conferences came to mind and, if I was going to die, I didn't want it to be in Blackpool!)
Thank you to everyone for their support (moral & financial). When Mr Massawe, the Head Teacher and owner of the farmland, where the Kilima Hewa School is built, messaged me to say "Well done and Thank you on behalf of the children", on the evening of my skydive, I thought my heart was about to explode, and I'd have willingly done it all over again for him.
One day I hope to pluck up the 'emotional' courage to actually visit the school and meet the children who we have helped to have a better future, or maybe climb nearby Mount Kilimanjaro to help raise more funds??! Watch this space . . ! !
Alex Pearson, the CWUHA Project Manager with responsibility for the school said “Julie is a veteran fund raiser for CWUHA but she has never done anything this extreme before, which has resulted in her raising an amazing amount of money that will be spent on sponsoring children’s education, buying uniforms, books and equipment for the Kilima Hewa school – Julie you are one in a million”.
You can still sponsor Julie by sending a cheque made payable to ‘CWUHA’ writing Julie on the back and sending to ‘CWUHA, 302a Barlow Moor Rd, Manchester, M21 8AY.