Steel Bones and amputee organisation, OPUS worked with Milton Keynes Rotary Club, iFly Indoor Skydiving, Xscape and Destination Milton Keynes to provide a once in a lifetime experience for 20 amputee family members. The flights took place on Friday 22nd February and it was a fantastic experience for all involved including the onlookers.
iFly Indoor SKydiving has been helping people fly for 20 years. It has achieved phenomenal success with centres across the UK. OPUS is the amputee user group at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital. OPUS was the first amputee user group to provide the Ifly Skydiving opportunity for amputees and it went down a storm. Sandra Staffiero of OPUS said “an amazing experience for all users. Peer support and camaraderie was incredible. An experience that proved that with whatever type of amputation or ability one has with the support and encouragement of professional instructors and family and friends anything is possible. An experience not to be missed. If the opportunity arrives to take part then park the doubts and what if’s, take a deep breath and do it! ”
We attended one of these events and were absolutely stunned to see the power and impact of the experience on the flyers. As Emma Joy-Staines, Founder of Steel Bones, says “It was incredible to see their faces light up in amazement when they felt freedom. It was an honour to watch them feel empowered and live the experience.” Steel Bones wanted to pull in local businesses to fund their event so that all amputees, whatever their means could experience this powerful adventure.
Our first port of call was to contact Milton Keynes Rotary Club as she has worked with other Rotary branches across the UK, all of whom have been very helpful. Milton Keynes did not disappoint. Emma spoke with Euan Henderson of the Milton Keynes Rotary Club, who went above and beyond to make this adventure possible. A donation of £300 was confirmed alongside a donation from iFly towards the flight cost.
The next part of the mission was to provide a family dinner for all the attendees to enable them to celebrate their achievement. Euan pulled in Destination Milton Keynes who were very helpful at introducing Steel Bones to Xscape and generously contributed towards the cost of the celebration and secured Pizza Express as our hosts.
This has been a fantastic collaboration which has given 20+ amputee family members an experience of a lifetime. The group had an amazing time. One of the skydivers even raised an amazing £600 for Steel Bones and CPRS.
Here’s some feedback from our AMAZING SKYDIVERS
“It was simply amazing I’ve not smiled this much in a long time being a quadruple amputee I never dreamed it would be possible it really was fabulous”
“A wonderful experience with fellow amputees. Meeting up with old friends, & making new ones was lovely.”
“I want to say a very Big Thank you to you all for giving me the opportunity to Sky Dive I really cannot thank you enough for one of the most exciting experiences i have ever had the opportunity of doing Sky Diving at Milton Keynes you will never know the experience and freedom of Sky Diving with you was the most exciting experience i have had especially with my on going Disabilities some which are visible my left leg amputation and some of my disabilities are hidden. This experience has made me want to go out more and to experience the fact that Disability is actually Ability I shall never forget the wonderful time i had Sky Diving with Steel Bones thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to take part in this experience.”
Steel Bones and OPUS would like to thank everyone who has made this possible – another ground-breaking adventure for the amputee community. Another fantastic follow-on is that a team of amputees from Steel Bones will swim in the Milton Keynes Rotary Club’s Annual Swimathon on 9th March to help raise funds for this proactive Rotary Club which makes such a real and brilliant impact on the Milton Keynes community.
This event was kindly supported by these amazing supporters:
Ifly logo, Milton Keynes rotary club, destination Milton Keynes logo, xscape
Check out the amazing video here