Taking the plunge!14 August 2019
Swimming costume and survival suit at the ready, I took one last inhale of the chlorine filled room as I strapped myself into the Helicopter Underwater Escape Simulator. My stomach was in knots and this was amplified by memories of a childhood incident but there was no way I was backing out now. The first dunk – straight forward in and out of the pool, it was unpleasant but I felt okay. All or nothing now, the capsize test. Plunged deep into the water I was thrown around, completely upside down underwater and then whoosh. I quickly unstrapped myself and made my way for the escape window. I bobbed around on the surface and took a few moments, then the realisation hit me – I had done it and I survived!
No, I’m not an offshore worker but a Branch Administrator at Cornerstone. I’ve worked with the organisation since 2015 and I am an ambassador for The Cornerstone Foundation. Working as an ambassador means many things but for me, it’s all about raising vital funds to enable the people we support at Cornerstone to live a valued life.
The Chopper Challenge is an annual fundraiser hosted by RelyOn Nutec where daring participants are sponsored to take the plunge in a Helicopter Underwater Escape Simulator. Brave face on, myself and a team of three others signed up. On the run-up to this challenge, I went through a whirlwind of emotion – nervous, excited and apprehensive. The bigger picture is what kept me in check. We often take for granted many of the things that people we support at Cornerstone can’t do without the help of fundraising. It’s hard not to smile when you hear that collectively you helped raise £5,500 which could change somebodies life.
I will never forget the sense of achievement I felt when I completed this challenge. A lot of people say ‘I bet you won’t be doing that again in a hurry!’ But, there’s something really special about working for an organisation where you can take a day out of the office to do something incredible for a good cause. That’s why in 2020, I’ll be abseiling off the side of the Forth Rail Bridge… watch this space!