The Mall Blackburn’s Jason Cothliff, along with seven colleagues and friends, have completed a daring skydive to raise over £4,200 for shopping centre’s Charity of the Year, Theo’s Warriors.
The charity supports children and their families through their cancer diagnosis and beyond.
Jason, who is The Mall Blackburn’s Ask Me Point Supervisor, was initially terrified of the challenge… but now says he would do it all again in a heartbeat!
He said: “I was so nervous on the day, but there was a real buzz in the air as we all got into our safety gear and practiced our landing procedures!
“The reality set in when we flew above the clouds but the adrenaline had taken over by then and before I knew it I was sailing through the sky strapped to my instructor.
“The free fall was incredible and then when the parachute opened it was just so silent and serene as we floated back down to the ground.
“I could see Blackpool Tower and Morecambe Bay, which was amazing and before I knew it I was landing to cheers and clapping.
“Every single one of the team of eight completed the jump, in fact three of them decided to add another 4,000 feet onto their descent – but 11,000 was more than enough for me at the time!
“We have been working with the team at Theo’s Warriors throughout the year and hearing about all these brave little children fighting this huge battle has really struck a chord with me.
“I teamed up with colleagues and friends and we set up a Just Giving page, did lots of bucket collections and handed out sponsorship forms in a bid to hit our £1,880 target which we have more than doubled!
“I can honestly say I would do the skydive all again, in fact we are already talking about organising another one next year!”
Loraine Jones, General Manager at The Mall Blackburn, added: “Every year we receive lots of applications for our charity of the year and it is always extremely difficult to choose one.
“This year we were all touched by the story of Theo’s Warriors and it was a unanimous decision.
“Our staff always go above and beyond to raise money for our charity and this year was no exception! I am delighted that all the team completed their skydive, it really was the biggest challenge to date for them!
“A huge well done to everyone for smashing the target and raising such a fantastic amount of money for this very deserving charity.”
Theo’s Warriors is run by a group of volunteers that have first hand experience of the terrible disease.
Easing the financial burden of not being able to work and spending lengthy periods of time in hospital, providing much needed emotional support 24 hours a day or helping with family days out, Theo’s Warriors does everything it can to help people through their most difficult times.
Janet Cottam, who is a Trustee for Theo’s Warriors, said: “We can give people hope and advice from our experiences and after everything we have been through, if there is anything at all we can do to help others then we want to do it.
“I want to say a huge thank you to Jason and the entire team for taking on such a massive challenge to raise an amazing amount of money – every penny is vital and will make a massive difference as there isn’t enough support out there for families.”
The brave team were: Jason Cothliff, Ask Me Point Supervisor, Darren Neilson, Security Supervisor at The Mall Blackburn as well as their friends Luke Potter, Liam Pearson, Daniel Warland and Louise Moden. Friends of Theo’s Warriors Koulton Bramley and Carrie Anne McClelland-Hurst also joined them.
Any final donations can be made by visiting: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/the-mall-blackburn-sky-dive