Daring Donna to skydive for polio

Daring Donna to skydive for polio

It will be one step for Donna, one giant leap for polio when Rotary GB&I President Donna Wallbank takes part in a tandem skydive later this year to coincide with Volunteer Expo in Birmingham. Donna explains why she has decided to make the charity jump from the Hinton Skydiving Centre in Northamptonshire.

I could have played darts, knitted squares to make blankets for the needy, walked on the treadmill to fundraise or, if I was brave enough, challenged myself to do something memorable to make a difference.

Something so memorable that when I’m sat in my rocking chair at 80-years-old, I can say ‘I did that and I was really part of making a difference!’

All this, knowing that my little part helped give polio vaccine to a child who may go on to develop a vaccine for another disease. We never know when our little bit of help will make a more significant difference for our world.

So why a skydive?

My daughter, and some of my salon team in Brynmawr, had done a tandem skydive a few years ago. When I was talking to Steph about what I could do, she said ‘skydive Mam’.

Now, I am terrified of heights. I laughed and said ‘no way’.

But I thought long and hard over Christmas what I could do that was good enough and the skydive kept coming back into my head.

donna to skydive

Rotary GB&I president, Donna Wallbank, will be taking part in a skydive later in the year to raise money for the Get Moving to End Polio campaign.

Over the last few months, I have been inspired by Rotarians taking themselves out of their comfort zones and doing extraordinary things.

So when listening to a presentation about a road trip of 1240 kilometres to fundraise, and having to respond afterwards, I found the words slipping out of my mouth – “I’m going to do a skydive for ‘Get Moving to End Polio’!

Even my husband Steve had no idea I was going to say it! But once the news was out there, there was no going back!

So it is all booked. I will be attending the Hinton Skydiving Centre just before the Volunteer Expo.

There I will go through some basic training, hear a talk about the aircraft flight before the skydive itself. I think the most important piece of advice will be how to land safely otherwise I might turn up to the Volunteer Expo with a couple of plaster casts!

Then it will be me and my instructor boarding the aircraft, a Cessna Grand Caravan, for the 20-minute flight. I hope to enjoy the beautiful views of the Midlands countryside. Yes, I do plan to try and keep my eyes open!

Apparently, I will reach the exit altitude of around 13,500ft before being shown the exit and probably ‘pushed’ towards the door. I’m told the adrenaline will then kick in!

As the instructor pushes me out with my instructor, we will be accelerating at speeds of over 120mph. Apparently it is fun and you feel a sense of achievement. I hope so.

I hope my Rotary friends will sponsor me with the video of the jump proof that I did it!

You can watch me on the video, hopefully with no screaming, crying or being pathetic. But you will also know that my 1240 challenge got me moving so we can end polio sooner rather than later!

My fundraising target is £12,400.

If you would like to sponsor me in this activity, I would be humbled and a child somewhere will be grateful.

Follow the link to support Donna in her daring fundraising challenge!