An amputee has told how she had one of the best experiences of her life completing a charity skydive.
Alison Hockaday, from Wingate, had always wanted to experience the feeling of floating through the air.
So to mark her 50th birthday, she decided to take part in a tandem skydive at Shotton Airfield.
Alison, who had her right leg amputed above the knee following an accident at work 16 years ago and turns 50 today, savoured every moment.
She said: “It was fantastic, just absolutely brilliant. The dive was magnificent.
“It was everything I hoped it would be and more.
The feeling of freedom when flying through the air was absolutely lovelyAlison Hockaday
“The feeling of freedom when flying through the air was absolutely lovely.
“I could see from Sunderland to Hartlepool, and the instructor slowed us down to tell me all of the places we could see.
“It was absolutely brilliant and I can’t thank the centre enough.
“They didn’t treat me any differently because I was an amputee, and they were brilliant. I’m still on a high.
“It’s something I had always wanted to do, so it feels fantastic that I have now done it.”
Alison was raising funds for Tiny Lives, the charity which supports premature and sick newborn babies and their families on the Neonatal Unit at the RVI, in Newcastle.
Her son, Daniel, was born three-and-a-half months early there 15 years ago, weighing just 1lb 3oz.
She raised £775 from the challenge, which saw her jump from 15,000ft.
She added: “I was only aiming for £500, so I’m over the moon with the final figure.
“I told Tiny Lives about how much I had raised, and they were very happy.
“I’m sure that will buy something excellent for the unit.”
Alison has not ruled out doing another skydive in the future, but has no plans to do so at present.
After the jump, she was congratulated after visiting Cinnamon Spice Club, in Trimdon.
She said: “We went to the Cinnamon Club on the night time and they made a big thing of it and put balloons on the tables.
“It was a fabulous day, and that just topped it off. The jump itself was amazing.”