Hft | About us | News and updates | Patricia takes to the skies

A Bristol woman is getting ready to take a leap of faith next week as she takes on a skydive to raise money for the learning disability charity where she works.

Patricia Gaitan is Commercial Development Manager at Hft, and has worked for the charity for four years. The 42 year old was inspired to take on the challenge of a lifetime after seeing first-hand how hard Hft support workers have worked throughout the Coronavirus pandemic to provide vital care and reassurance to adults with learning disabilities across the UK.

The Horfield resident has already raised £400 as she braces herself to take the plunge on 12 September. Patricia will be heading to Salisbury, where she’ll jump from a height of 12,500 feet and enjoy up to 50 seconds of free-fall before opening her parachute. While preparing for the challenge ahead, Patricia has been receiving plenty of encouragement from her co-workers and two children, who will be there to support her on the day. All funds raised are set to go towards Hft’s Pandemic Appeal, which aims to ensure staff and supported people have access to vital supplies and services during an uncertain time.   

Patricia said:

“I’ve always loved adrenaline but have never dared to take on a challenge like this – until now! While I’m feeling nervous, I’m looking forward to the feeling of accomplishment when I land back on solid ground, and to the views of the Wiltshire countryside I’ll have on the way down.

“After seeing our support workers working incredibly hard to care for and protect people with learning disabilities over the last few difficult months, I thought it was the right time to take a leap of faith for Hft. Our staff are heroes and have worked day and night to ensure people they support can find more enjoyment, comfort and satisfaction in their lives. They’ve inspired me to take on this challenge and I hope to do them proud.”

Emma Macdonald, Sporting and Challenge Events Manager at Hft, said:

“Challenges are a great way to have fun and fundraise for your favourite charity at the same time. We’re thrilled that Patricia is taking to the skies this month to raise funds for our Pandemic Appeal. Thanks to people like her, we’ve been able to raise vital funds for some of the most vulnerable people in society. A £10 donation could purchase shop vouchers for supplies such as food and hand gels, while £50 could help us be there for even more families through our Family Carer Support Service. We’re so grateful for Patricia’s efforts and will be cheering her on all the way.”

To donate, visit Patricia’s fundraising page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/patricia-gaitan1

Notes to editors

For further information please call our media enquiries line on 0117 906 1697.

About Hft

Hft is a national charity supporting more than 2,500 adults with learning disabilities across England and Wales to live the best life possible. Established in 1962, the charity uses its own unique Fusion Model to consistently deliver high quality, person-centred support across all its services.

Services range from supported living to residential care – from a few hours a week to 24 hours a day. Hft also helps people with learning disabilities to take part in daily activities, make friends and develop relationships and to find work.

For more information about Hft, please visit www.hft.org.uk

Information about learning disabilities

A learning disability can be mild, moderate, severe or profound and is defined as having a reduced ability to:

  • Understand new or complex information
  • Learn new skills
  • Live independently

For more information about learning disabilities, please visit www.hft.org.uk/resources-and-guidance