On Saturday, July 21st 2012, Manny Kemp jumped from 13,000 ft in a tandem skydive to raise money for the National Autistic Society.
He says, "My brother and one of my cousins both suffer from severe autism and I have been around people with varying severities and forms of Autistic Spectrum Disorder my whole life, and thought it was about time I did something to fundraise for the NAS.
The 'jump' took place as part of Cambridge RAG's Great Cambridge Jump event, where a group of people do the skydive with UK Parachuting at Sibson, near Peterborough, to raise funds for RAG or a charity of their own choice. I helped to organise the last Great Cambridge Jump and thought I might give it a go myself this time.
I covered my entire fee for the Skydive out of my own pocket, so dig deep knowing it's all going to the National Autistic Society.
Also, for the record, freefall is really freaky. I don't have any photos of the event because getting a skydive filmed costs about £100 extra, but if you are interested to know, I reached a top speed of 172 mph in freefall and dropped like a stone for about 45 seconds before the parachute opened. Then, a few minutes later, my instructor and I glided in for a landing, skidded along the ground a bit and then flipped over so I ended up finishing my jump face down in the mud...."
The National Autistic Society exists to champion the rights and interests of over half a million people with autism and to ensure that they and their families receive quality services appropriate to their needs.
Immanuel (Manny) Kemp is a PhD student here, working on Fischer Tropsch reactions in the Combustion Group.