An amputee is hoping to prove an inspiration to others this weekend as she looks to get her 50th birthday celebrations off to a flying start.
Alison Hockaday, from Wingate, is to take part in a tandem skydive at Shotton Airfield, on Sunday.
I just want to float through the air. I think that would be an amazing feelingAlison Hockaday
She had her right leg amputed above the knee following an accident at work 16 years ago, but has always dreamed of ‘floating through the air’ by taking part in a skydive.
Mrs Hockaday, who turns 50 on Wednesday, said: “I wanted to do something to mark turning 50, and this is something I’ve always wanted to do.
“I’m an amputee, and quite disabled, but I know I can do this.
“I want to show other amputees that you can still do things and live your life the way you want to.
“I just want to float through the air. I think that would be an amazing feeling.
“I don’t really have any nerves about it.
“Shotton had a few initial reservations, but eventually said it was fine after talking it through with me.
“I’m excited, and can’t wait for Sunday.”
Mrs Hockaday is raising funds for Tiny Lives, the charity which supports premature and sick newborn babies and their families on the Neonatal Unit at the RVI Hospital, in Newcastle.
Her son, Daniel, was born three-and-a-half months early there 15 years ago, weighing just 1lb 3oz.
Daniel is now a healthy teenager, and his mum wants to give something back to the unit which saved his life.
She has already raised £700 – beating her original target of £500 – and is now aiming for a figure of at least £800.
Mrs Hockaday, who has been married to husband Joe for 30 years and is also a step-mum to Joseph, 36, added: “As well as the thrill of doing the jump, it’s also very important for me to raise the funds.
“This is for a charity which is very close to my heart, as my son was born at the RVI three-and-a-half months early, and the work the charity does is tremendous.
“Without the special care unit at the RVI, Daniel wouldn’t have survived.
“I’ve already beaten my initial target, which I’m delighted with, but I’d really like to push that figure as high as possible.
“I’d especially like to thank Cinnamon Spice Club, in Trimdon, for their generous donation.”
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/alison-hockaday