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  • Publish Date: Posted about 1 year ago
  • Author: Liz Hilton

I joined Access in March 2019 as an eLearning Designer within the Product Accreditation Team. Among the many great things about working here is the ‘Love Work. Love Life’ philosophy. An important part of this is the giving-back culture and how staff are encouraged and supported in getting involved.

One of the ways in which this is done is the Give Back Charity Day, which allows staff to take a day out of the office, if they wish, fully paid, to ‘give back’. When it was announced that Access had selected Parkinson’s UK as Charity of the year, I felt I really had to get involved. A few years ago I lost my Dad to Parkinson’s so this is a cause close to my heart. Being given an extra day's leave to fundraise was a great incentive and an opportunity to do something extraordinary, so I decided to do a charity sky-dive – What’s not to like about being given paid time off to fall out of a plane and do some good at the same time? 

Parkinson’s UK will cover the cost provided you raise at least £480 by the time of the jump. I booked my jump for 9th September at Langar airport near Nottingham in the hope that the conditions would be good and started fundraising in late July, so I barely had two months to raise the funds. It was the peak holiday season, so I did wonder whether the timescale was too tight! 

The day soon arrived but unfortunately, despite the hot summer, the weather broke and thunderstorms were forecast. I was worried that the skydive would be postponed, but eventually, the sky cleared and we were allowed to take off. The jump was a truly unforgettable experience, both the freefall from 15 000 feet and then when the parachute opened (much to my relief), floating gently back to earth.

Completing this jump was a truly incredible experience made possible by the support I got from Access. Having a whole Giving Back day to do this was brilliant. 

I was lucky to be supported by my team and colleagues who kicked things off with generous donations. I posted regular updates on Engage, Teams and social media, as well as dropping the subject of fundraising into conversations at every opportunity available. By the time I completed the jump, I had raised £760.  

All in all, it was an amazing challenge and an unforgettable experience!