Last weekend my sister Emily and I took to the skies on Zipworld UK’s Velocity to raise money for our chosen charities.
I was raising money for Climbing Out, a charity that takes teenagers and adults who have experienced life changing illness or trauma on a week’s outdoor adventure holiday in order to rebuild their confidence and reduce isolation, something that often comes hand in hand with chronic illness. I’ve been lucky enough to go on one of the Climbing Out programmes and have therefore seen the great impact it can have, so it was definitely a worthy cause to raise cash for.
Emily was fundraising for the Believe and Achieve Trust, a charity close to both of our hearts. It was set up in memory of my friend Alex, and aims to raise awareness of meningitis but also provides monetary grants for young people in Tameside who would like to achieve in sport but have various barriers in their way.
Both of the charities we raised money for are relatively small, grassroots charities – which I feel makes it all the more special. I know that every penny we raised will go to helping other people. And that’s all that matters, isn’t it?
If you donated to us, thank you so much.
It was a ridiculously long day, as our actual zipwire experience started at 8am, which meant we were up at 4.45 and out of the house for 5 as we set off from Manchester.
When we arrived in Wales, we were a little early but we used it as a photo op. The clouds were still low so it was a struggle to even see where we would be zipping from. I think the fact it was in a cloud should have been a warning sign.
When 8 o’clock came around, Emily and I went to the briefing area and were told a bit about the experience and what to expect. We started with the ”little zipper” (which wasn’t that little) and moved onto the ”big zipper.” This took around 15 minutes by truck, I think mainly due to the uneven surfaces and steepness.
It started off with us getting weighed (it’s all very precise so that they can measure your safety in the winds etc), and then we were given our kit which consisted of a sort of onesie type suit, followed by a ”flying suit”, goggles and a helmet. I was a bit gutted as I’d bought a cheap go-pro, but it didn’t actually fit into the helmet safely so I couldn’t take it up with us. I wish I had known that you could hire one when you’re there!
You then go by foot to the little zipper, and get briefed on what you actually have to do. They hook you on, then you get into a press up type position while they bring down the flying suit and secure you fully. Depending on your weight, which they wrote on our wristband, they’d then put different coloured parachutes onto you which acted to slow you down in the winds. We were also told at which point to put our hands out… Though I was wearing my glasses under my goggles. They had both steamed up so I could not see a thing and was just hoping for the best.
We survived that and started getting super excited for the real thing, giggling slightly manically. I also realised that I have 0 core stomach muscles as the truck was at such a steep angle and I kept slipping down the truck’s bench. Slightly embarrassing. The views were good on the way up.
When we got to the top we were about 5th/6th in line so got to watch a few people zipping down before us. It was a similar set up to the little zipper, just higher up with better views. It was quite funny watching people bobbing around head first as the wire bounced as people got off at the other end. Until it was our turn!
Going down the wire was a really fun experience (despite only lasting 57 seconds!) and the views of the slate quarry were incredible. The blue of the lake was breathtaking and I felt liberated the whole way down. Zipworld UK provide you with a free video of yourself (it was a little bit big brother) on the line, so Emily found it most amusing that I was laughing to myself both at the top of the line before setting off and has since put the video of me with my arms out to High School Musical’s ”Breaking Free.” (As much as I hate to admit it, she is really funny.)
Overall, I really enjoyed my time at Zipworld UK (despite midges eating us all to death) and would recommend it – but take a go pro! The whole thing lasted about an hour and a half.
Let me know if you’ve been and what you thought, and once again thank you to those who sponsored us!