A West Lothian man who lives with a learning disability achieved his greatest ambition this weekend, when he took part in a skydive for charity.
Daredevil Joseph Gigli, 27, from Broxburn, West Lothian, took to the skies on Saturday 5th April, raising money for Dreamflight – a charity that supports children with disabilities and serious illnesses to enjoy dream holidays in Florida.
Joseph, who is supported to live independently by the charity Community Integrated Care, was bravely accompanied in a tandem jump by his Support Worker, Erin Findlay. Together, they jumped from 10,000ft over the Fife countryside.
The incredible feat was a year in the making. Just over twelve months ago, thrill-seeker Joseph, expressed a desire to take part in a skydive – undaunted, his team at Community Integrated Care made every effort to support him to achieve his dream. Their preparations included helping him test himself in high-adrenaline situations with activities like rock climbing and riding roller-coasters, as well as supporting him to understand the process of skydiving.
Joseph fundraised for his jump through collecting sponsorship and hosting events. At the current count, he has raised almost £300 for Dreamflight.
Joseph says, ““I am so happy that I completed my skydive! It was so fun and I didn’t feel scared at all. I am very proud to have raised money for Dreamflight, which I hope will help someone go on holiday to Florida. I would love to do another jump for charity.”
His support worker, Erin Findlay, says, “At Community Integrated Care, we’re passionate about helping people to achieve their dreams and aspirations. Joe’s goal of skydiving was incredibly important to him, so whilst we knew it would be a big challenge, we were determined to make it happen. As someone who loves adrenaline rushes and has a great relationship with Joe, I was more than happy to volunteer to accompany him on this challenge.”
She continues, “After 12 months of dedicated planning, it felt great – if a little scary for me personally – to take to the skies. Joe however was very confident and showed no fear. After the jump, Joe said it was one of the best experiences of his life and he hasn’t stopped talking about it since! We’re all so proud of him.”
Joseph and the team at Community Integrated Care would like to thank Ian and Robert from St Andrews Skydive, who offered them great support in preparing for the jump and accompanied them in the skydive.
About Community Integrated Care
Community Integrated Care is one of Britain’s biggest social care charities. It supports thousands of people across Scotland and England who live with learning disabilities, mental health concerns, autism and age-related needs, such as dementia. www.c-i-c.co.uk