Clydesdale teachers skydive for stillbirth charity

Heather skydiving high above St Andrews
Heather skydiving high above St Andrews

Two friends who both teach at Carstairs Junction Primary threw themselves out of a plane at 10,000 feet to raise funds for stillbirth charity Sands.

Heather Stewart wanted to do something for the charity, which supported her and her fiance when their daughter Louise Beattie was born asleep.

But it was her friend Kimberley King who encouraged her to do the skydive.

“I have a bit of a fear of heights,” Heather confessed. “But I was talked round to it.”

Heather has never forgotten the kindness of Sands when, in June 2012, she and David lost their daughter.

Louise was born at 33 weeks. “She was pretty and perfect in every way, but her heart had stopped,” said Heather.

“Sands were a great support for us, and I have always wanted to do some fundraising for them.”

Heather, now mum to Cameron (6) and Lauren (2) felt that this was the time, and Kimberley - who has always had skydiving on her bucket list - encouraged her!

The pair signed up for a skydive near St Andrew’s, and went up for training first, and the jump, strapped to instructors, in the afternoon.

“It was quite an experience,” said Heather. “It was amazing and terrifying in equal measures.

“It was quite surreal. The worst part was getting out of the aeroplace - letting yourself jump out. That is quite unnatural!

“The free fall part was quite amazing, and once the parachute was open it wasn’t so bad as you get to take control of it and steer it for a little while.

“But coming out of the plane was quite something!”

Heather, who lives in Carmichael, had hoped to raise £500 for Sands, but already is way passed that target, with over £1400 on an on-line donation page, and with collection tins to be emptied.

“We are completely overwhelmed with how much we have raised,” she said, adding that people she had not seen since she left school had donated.

The money goes to Sands Glasgow, which covers Wishaw General, and Heather hopes to raise more in the future - but not by skydiving. That, for her, was a once-in-a-lifetime experience; Kimberley, however, can’t wait to do it again!