“Describe a time where you went above and beyond”
This week the trainee solicitor blog team caught up with Natasha Holme. Natasha is a second seat trainee in the property dispute resolution team and an active member of the charity committee. Natasha recently organised and took part in a sponsored skydive to raise money for our chosen charity of the year, Rethink Mental Illness.
The day itself
I was one of four people who jumped 12,000ft from a tiny cramped aircraft on Sunday 22 July 2018 and lived to tell the tale.
The day started just before 8:30am when we registered our arrival. In order for the four of us to jump together, they allocated us a slot in the last plane of the morning. Therefore, we had an anxious 4 hour wait before it was our turn. During this time (and in typical English weather fashion) we had both scorching sunshine and rain. We also had the essential training:
- put your legs out in front of you when you land;
- keep your back arched when you exit the plane; and
- make sure to scream when you initially jump out of the plane to ensure you exhale…like we needed prompting.
The ride up in the plane should have taken 15 minutes but due to air traffic control holding us back, it took us nearer 35 minutes to reach the dreaded 12,000ft. The plane ride itself was quite an experience. There were no seats on board and we were sat in two rows with someone else sat between our legs- parachutes and all. Once we reached 12,000ft, all that was left to do was jump, fall and land.
First, we dangled our bodies over the edge of the plane until our instructors decided to let go of the side and away we went. Second, we travelled through the clouds for about 15 seconds, when we couldn’t see anything and it was quite difficult to breathe. Third, we plummeted towards the ground very quickly, with stunning views below and we could even see France in the distance. Lastly, the parachute went up and we glided around in small circles before landing safely. We then met with our friends and relatives who were relieved to see we were all still in one piece.
Our reviews of the skydive are mixed. While other members of the team recounted that they ‘had the most amazing time’, I was just glad I did not throw up in the plane and you probably couldn’t pay me to do it again.
The greater good
So why did I bother doing it in the first place? The simple answer is to raise as much money for Rethink Mental Illness as possible. By taking part in a daring activity, people were more likely to sponsor us. Also, having organised the event, I was extremely motivated to make the event a success. The internal fundraising aspect was fun and I got the whole firm involved, including our vacation schemers, by taking a drinks trolley around the office selling Pimm’s and mocktails. Externally, it was a great way to show my friends and family how committed Cripps is to charity events.
I can proudly say that our team of four have currently raised in excess of £2,000 and although it is not an experience I want to relive, I can tick skydiving off my bucket list.