A DARING duo of Oswestry travel agents have gone sky high to raise £2,200 for a hospice charity which supports terminally-ill children and their families.

Hays Travel North West colleagues Aoife Brennan and Mel Arnold took the leap of faith for Hope House Children's Hospices, after the pair worked together at the Hays Travel Oswestry branch in Cross Street, at Tilstock Airfield in Whitchurch.

Mel, who still works at the Oswestry branch and Aoife, who has since moved to Wrexham, were keen to do something different from the usual cake sale fundraisers.

Aoife, 19, who lives in Oswestry, said: "It was quite a leap from what we normally do – literally!

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Aoife Brennan and Mel Arnold at Hays Travel 

"It was a real adrenalin rush. I'm so glad that I did it and that I was with Mel, I couldn't have done it on my own.

"It was a bit daunting. We'd signed up months before so it didn't really feel real until near the time.

"I must admit a couple of weeks before the jump I didn't think that I'd be able to do it but in the end it was fine.

"When the plane went up into the sky I was looking out of the window and I felt like I was going to cry.

"I closed my eyes when I first jumped out. You freefall for 30 seconds and that went dead quick. Then when the parachute went up it felt like forever.

"But I was a bit more relaxed then and could take everything in. All our family and friends were there waiting for us and we were waving to them as we came down. That was a great experience.

"I remember crying when we landed and giving Mel a big hug. I think it was all the emotions coming out. I don't think any fundraising event we do now will top that – but I do know my feet will be staying on the ground for the next one, 100 per cent."

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Aoife Brennan before her jump at Tilstock

Mel, who is also from Oswestry and has worked at her hometown branch for 10 years, would happily take the plunge again.

She said: "It was unbelievable. Honestly I would do it again tomorrow! I love rollercoasters and heights don't scare me.

"I've always watched I'm A Celebrity and thought it looked amazing when they jumped out of a plane but I didn't know if I could ever do it.

"I must admit the bit that scared me most was going up in an old rickety plane and knowing the only way my feet will touch the floor again is by jumping out.

"It was an a amazing experience – just like flying in mid-air and I'm so glad me and Aoife did it together. We said we would do it and we did!"

Mel, 36, who has two children, Dylan, eight, and Brayden, three, added: "Having children of my own made me extra determined to support such an amazing charity which does so much for local families.

"We'd decided to do it back in January. We always do cake sales so we wanted to do something different and to raise a hefty amount.

"Hope House is a local charity who need support to stay open. There are people I know who have used it and it's a charity local people like to raise money for.

"I wanted us to do something out of the box that would make people want to sponsor us. Most years we raise £500-600 but because of the sky dive we've raised £2,200 which is fantastic and makes it all worthwhile."

"It's a cause that means a lot to so many and I'm so glad I've been able to do this. Hopefully the funds we've raised will help make a difference."

Rachel Lewis, Hope House Children's Hospices area fundraiser, said: "We’re so grateful to Mel and Aoife for their incredible bravery in taking on a skydive for Hope House.

"The fantastic amount they have raised will make a real difference for the children in our care."