It’s not everyday that a Chief Executive drops in to donate to charity but that’s exactly what Steph Edusei and her partner Jim did to raise much-needed funds for a cause close to their hearts.
As boss of Healthwatch Newcastle, Steph is used to hosting drop-ins for service users asking their opinions on health and social care services in the city. She’s now reached new heights and went into free fall by jumping out of a moving aircraft.
The couple, who live in New Hartley, are no strangers to fundraising. Jim has a head for heights as a tree surgeon and previously hitch-hiked from Newcastle to Ghana to raise money to support an orphanage in a town with links to Steph’s family. While en route, he had to dodge muggers and was grateful for total strangers stopping to give him a lift. Now however, Jim’s adventurous travelling days are over and he has turned his attention to matters much more local.
“I’ve always wanted to challenge myself with a sky dive”, said Jim. “It was great to be able to share the experience with Steph too.”
Steph agreed. “We wanted to do something for Streetwise Young People’s Project, a local charity that gives so much valuable support to young people and we wanted to challenge ourselves too. So, we decided to do a skydive and reckoned that if we were going to jump out of a plane, we might as well make sure that it was nice and high,” said Steph.
First time jumpers Steph and Jim went to Peterlee Skydive Academy where they carried out a tandem free fall jump with instructors from a height of 10,000 feet.
“Everyone thought we were mad but it’s one of those things that you have to do at least once. As I boarded the plane I had butterflies but it was an exhilarating experience and worth doing when I think of the good that the money we’ve raised will do.”
Streetwise offers free and confidential advice, counselling, sexual health and support services for young people aged 13-25. They are based in Newcastle city centre at Blackfriars Court and have helped thousands of young people during difficult times in their lives.
The couple have so far raised over £500 for the charity. Anyone wishing to donate to the cause can do so at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/StephandJimsjump