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Leaping Ipswich mayor Sarah Barber makes big jump for good cause

PUBLISHED: 14:52 09 September 2017 | UPDATED: 14:52 09 September 2017

Ellie Griss and Sarah Barber before their parachute jumps. Picture: SARAH BARBER

Ellie Griss and Sarah Barber before their parachute jumps. Picture: SARAH BARBER

Archant

Just 48 hours after limbering up with a gentle jump at the town’s newest trampoline centre, Ipswich mayor Sarah Barber has taken a giant leap out of an aircraft – at 13,000 feet!

Sarah Barber comes in to land at Beccles. Picture: SARAH BARBERSarah Barber comes in to land at Beccles. Picture: SARAH BARBER

She took part in a tandem parachute jump at Beccles airfield to raise money for the Ipswich Hospital Charity – and admitted it was one of the scariest things she has ever done.

Also jumping for hospital was fellow nurse Ellie Griss, who is consort (and granddaughter) to deputy mayor Roger Fern.

They were part of a team from the hospital charity who were taking to skies to help boost its funds – and had attracted considerable support from their colleagues at the hospital and at the borough council.

Mrs Barber said she wondered what she was doing as she got on to the plane at Beccles airfield: “I was absolutely terrified. I can’t think of anything more frightening that I’ve done.”

Sarah Barber back on the ground after her parachute jump. Picture: SARAH BARBERSarah Barber back on the ground after her parachute jump. Picture: SARAH BARBER

She later tweeted that it was a once in a lifetime experience!

She was strapped to tandem parachutist Rick Thompson who controlled the whole flight: “The first 30 seconds or so was freefall and that is a really strange feeling. You really don’t get any sensation of how fast you are falling.

“Then when the parachute comes out you go down to the ground. There are some wonderful views of Beccles, not that I had my eyes open very much!”

Mrs Barber did the parachute jump to raise money for the Ipswich Hospital Charity and she has no idea how much it will raise because people are still pledging sponsorship for her efforts.

She said: “I know Ellie has raised more than £500, but we’re still waiting to see what people are offering me.”

The hospital fundraising is one of her mayoral charities for the year and people could contribute to her mayor’s fund – but the aim of the jump was to raise money for the hospital charity specifically.

And Mrs Barber was mightily relieve to have her feet firmly back on the ground: “As we sat in the plane I knew I had to go through with it, but I kept asking myself what on earth was I doing?

“Ellie was great. She’s more up for things like this and was really encouraging – I’m so glad I had her doing it with me.”

The jump at Beccles was arranged through UK Parachuting which provides tandem parachute opportunities for daredevils keen to raise funds for good causes.

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