Michael Dawkins, 52, has completed a thrilling skydive in order to help raise money for this year’s Caribbean Carnival.Advertisement
The former chairman of the Preston Caribbean Carnival decided to take part in the fundraiser after he discovered that the Carnival may not be held due to funding issues.
The skydive took place at the Black Night Parachuting Centre in Cockermouth on 26 March.
The aim was to raise £3000 so that it could be put towards the total £25,000+ cost of this year’s Carnival.
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The Carnival takes place every year in which the city comes alive with processions, performances and dances to the rhythms of the Caribbean.
Michael Dawkins said: “I arrived at the centre at 8am and I was pleasantly surprised how comfortable and well equipped the centre was.
“I was one of about 20 in the early group of fundraiser, thrill seekers and we had a 20 minute safety briefing session including a video presentation.
“I opted for the standard fall from 16K feet (3 miles), reaching potential speed of 130 mph.
“I bravely walked through to the hanger and on the way met up with my instructor, Neil, a paramedic from Burscough whose mature, calm approach settled me.
“As the 1st & subsequent pairs exited the plane, I found myself clicking on the reality of what I was about to do and told myself I will be okay and must not be scared; there was no turning back!
“The first thing I recall is doing a backward roll which worried me as I knew it meant I hadn’t made a good enough banana shape with my body which helps the instructor control our free fall.
“The overwhelming memory was how difficult it was to breath or catch enough breath as we hurtled at high speed.
“Before getting out of my flying gear, I gave an interview to Tracey Harris and Carol Nevin, and I proceeded to tell Tracey what a ‘horrible’ experience it had been; ‘It was HORRIBLE!’ and ‘I couldn’t breath’ I scowled.
“I sincerely take my hat off to anyone who has done skydives to raise funds for charities and good causes, and even more astonishment and amazement to those who do it more than the once as that’s bravery and massive commitment to a good cause.”
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Michael received a lot of congratulations on Facebook and some new pledges of sponsors.
Michael hopes to continue raising money through sponsorship and donations over the next few weeks.
He continued: “I see my friends, family, neighbours and members of the community and I remind what I went through and the need to save our carnival.
“I really feel I’ve done my bit, my part of the process and it wasn’t the bucket list experience of a lifetime.”
You can find Michael’s fundraising page online and follow updates of Preston’s Caribbean Carnival on the website.
Have you been to Preston’s Caribbean Carnival before? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below