skydive survivors

Clarke Willmott skydivers brought back down to earth

Over £1600.00 raised for charities of the year

A team from the Birmingham office of national law firm, Clarke Willmott, are celebrating after their latest challenge raising money for their two charities of the year for 2015.

Catherine Elliott (a Partner in the Private Capital team), Sundeep Sangha (a solicitor handling Commercial Property matters), Stacey Collins (a Legal Assistant in the Family team) and Annette Hughes (a secretary in Commercial and Private Client Litigation) all bravely decided to overcome their fears and realise a lifelong ambition as well as raising much needed funds for the charities the firm supports – by plunging earthwards from 13,000 feet above the Langer Airfield in Nottinghamshire last Friday.

The event involved the intrepid and big hearted group agreeing to leave a perfectly serviceable airplane at 13,000ft, plunging in tandem free fall at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour for 45 seconds, before, thankfully, their chutes opening and bringing them safely back to the ground, albeit with some aerobatics on the way.

Earlier this year the staff at Clarke Willmott had voted to decide which charities to support in 2015, and the winners were Penny Brohn Cancer Care and the Child Brain Injury Trust.

Penny Brohn Cancer Care has been helping people with cancer for over 30 years, and has pioneered ‘The Whole Person Approach.’  This shows you how to live a fulfilling life in spite of a cancer diagnosis, and take back control of your health and wellbeing – before, during and after treatment.

The Clarke Willmott team were also supporting the Child Brain Injury Trust. Every 30 minutes, a child or young person will acquire a brain injury, which has a devastating and life-long impact on the sufferer and their entire family. The Child Brain Injury Trust is a charity which supports young people and families who have been affected by traumatic accidents, illness, poisoning, strokes or brain tumours. The Charity is particularly active in the Midlands, and has a Regional Child & Family Support Coordinator who works closely with other professionals at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and in the wider Midlands area.

Catherine Elliott, who volunteered to skydive, who has successfully fought breast cancer herself, receiving the all clear in June 2014 said:-

“As a cancer survivor myself, I am only too aware that not everyone gets the type of support they want when dealing with diagnosis of and treatment for cancer – and this is where Penny Brohn Cancer Care can provide a solution for a lot of people coming to terms with the disease. The jump was exhilarating – and despite the butterflies – was one of the best and most exciting things I have ever done. To be able to help Penny Brohn at the same time was just fantastic”.

Annette and Sundeep decided to do the jump to “celebrate” turning 50 and 30 respectively this year, and Stacey was motivated by hearing the stories of children who sustain brain injury. Stacey said:-

“I regularly hear through my colleagues who support children with brain injury, of the effects on such children and their families. These people often show such bravery in overcoming the difficulties they face, and I thought it was only right that I show a tiny proportion of such bravery in throwing myself from a plane in the hope that the Child Brain Injury Trust can go on providing much needed support to brain injury survivors”

The team believe their final total of sponsorship will be in excess of £1600.00 to be split between the charities. The skydive is the latest, but perhaps most adventurous of events that Clarke Willmott have organised to raise funds for their nominated charities. Previous events have included a sponsored Table Tennis tournament and a bake off. More events are planned throughout the year.