On the 26th of May at 5am, 20 brave divers gathered outside Burger King, La Linea ready to hop on the bus and start the long journey to Seville. This wasn’t just any journey, or any Saturday morning. They had a big day ahead of them, and the 26th of May has become a date that will forever be imprinted on the minds of this year’s Charity Skydive divers.

Edgy, nervous passengers on the coach (very generously donated by Calypso) arrived and became acquainted. Both dread and excitement filled the air. We didn’t start off optimistic as the heavens proceeded to open, leaving us hanging around for hours. This is a long time to wait when the pressure and nerves increase by the minute. Skydive Spain allow heights of 15,000 ft (4600 m), the highest in Europe. That’s a lot of pressure!

I thought about the beautiful views I had seen from the plane through the window when catching flights, and then thought about falling through those views at 180km an hour, in the middle of the sky, with nothing to hold onto. Terror!

Eventually, the skies cleared as well as our fears and we were able to jump. We were greeted by many hurdles as two tornados formed in the distance although the biggest tornado was the one we felt within. Thankfully, this was short lived and all the divers had an opportunity to jump. Our jumpers varied between the ages of 18 and over 60, it’s never too late!

This year Charity Skydive Gibraltar’s chosen charity was GibSams Suicide Hotline. Sadly, the suicide rate in Gibraltar has increased; GibSams are here to help us when those thoughts come creeping in. Together, we can make things happen, and this we did. All the fear and the hurdles were worth it, together we raised an incredible £9665! The money will go towards specific training for GibSams volunteers, specialist training, outreach work, creating awareness and beyond.

Thank you to all of those who sponsored, without you, this wouldn’t have been possible. A small gesture from many can go a long way. Well done to the organisers behind the Charity Skydive, Maria Palmer, Michelle Manning and Simone Berns. Thank you Calypso for providing us with transport for the last 3 years. Thank you to Sky Dive Spain for a great day and finally, thank you to all the divers.

Lastly, I would like to mention how skydiving changed my perspective on fear. It made me think about the many situations in my life when I hesitated to do something because I was scared, and once I did it, I realised the fear was literally just an idea in my head of what could go wrong, or how it may feel. Fear is useless, all it does is hold us back and prevent us from living. How many of us say if we could choose a superpower, it would be flying?
Don’t suffer in silence, if you or someone you know needs a helping hand, call GibSams anonymously today on 116123.

Are you interested in Sky Diving and curious to know how it really feels? Read about Liana’s experience: itsliana23.wordpress.com/2018/06/06/how-sky-diving-taught-me-that-fear-is-useless/

BY LIANA PEKLIVANAS