Paul's height of achievement
Throwing yourself out of an aeroplane at 15,000ft may not sound sensible for someone afraid of heights – but that’s just what Hinkley Point B's Paul Gallagher did as part of a fundraising drive.
Paul, Operations Services Group Head at EDF’s Hinkley Point B, took the plunge from a plane high over Devon in June to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK – the company’s corporate charity partner.
And his derring do has so far netted more than £1,300.
He said: “Jumping out of a plane has never been on my to-do list as I’m extremely uncomfortable with heights but once I committed, that was it. I had a few anxious moments through the months leading up to the jump. Mainly imagining looking out of the door of the plane at 15,000ft and seeing the ground before tumbling out of the aircraft.
"The sponsorship really helped as knowing that so many people had promised to pay up if I completed the activity, was a great motivator. I have to say a massive thank you to everyone who contributed, they have all made a massive difference.”
A pal of Paul’s had completed a skydive a few months earlier and during an online quiz session, the Hinkley Point B staffer agreed to take part. When Paul’s wife told his daughter Daisy, who works next door at Hinkley point C, she immediately signed up too. For months before the big day Paul and Daisy’s friends and Hinkley Point B and C colleagues helped them grow their fundraising total, which now stands at £1,324.
And last weekend the pair completed the freefall challenge.
“On the day of the jump I felt calm and no worries until I was at the exit point of the plane looking out,” he said.
“At that moment all the feelings I had imagined came rushing back. But with no time to think we tumbled out. Travelling at 120mph and free falling for 60 seconds over 9000ft was an amazing experience. Going through the clouds and not seeing the ground was one of the best parts. The sky diver let me have a go with the straps to spin and direct the canopy. I was ok until I looked at my feet and saw how high up we still were up and my tummy turned.
“Being on the ground never felt so good – afterwards I knew that I’d faced my fear of heights, but I am still far from keen!”