IOSH Benevolent Fund inspires leap of faith

Dr Martin Luther King Jr once said: “Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase”.

For IOSH Council member and IOSH Benevolent Fund Trustee Anne Isaacs, doing a tandem Skydive needed no stairs, just a whole heap of faith and a desire to help others.

“My objective was not only to raise funds for the IOSH Benevolent Fund but also to raise its profile. I was heartbroken when I realised that many members were not aware of the Fund,” she says.

“They could have benefited from some support had they known that the Fund offers practical assistance to members who are experiencing hardship.”

If you’ve been an IOSH member for at least three years, or are a former member, the fund will be able to help you, your families and your dependants during times of crisis and hardship by offering:

  • practical help during long periods of illness
  • aids for temporary or permanent disability
  • help during unemployment, including education or training fees.

A great example is when a member was out of work and was struggling to apply and get work as they did not have a computer. They applied to the Fund for a laptop which enabled them to send out more applications and eventually secure a full-time job.

“When I told people that I was going to jump out of a plane for charity,” says Anne, “the first question was “are you mad?” This challenge was on my bucket list in any case – but I thought since I was prepared to risk everything and jump out of a perfectly functioning plane, then why not do it for great causes?

“For me, as well as the Benevolent Fund, these also included the Sickle Cell Society and Lupus UK.

“The jump crew were a little worried about me – they said that I was too calm. I was focused and just wanted to enjoy the experience. I have to say it was an exhilarating six minutes, starting with 30 seconds’ free fall (which seemed a lot longer) – a fantastic rush that I would recommend to everyone. Then floating and spinning down through the clouds was heavenly.

“The team at Go Skydive were excellent. They paid extreme attention to safety – we watched as they meticulously folded the parachutes (which was really reassuring). Then they took us through the training, making sure we followed the steps and understood where our hands and feet should be.

“We all should remember life is a risk. Some people did not make it to today – so while I am here, I will do what I can, even if it means sailing a little closer to the sun. If someone else’s day will be made brighter – then I am happy.

“I would urge all IOSH members to consider contributing to the Fund – together we can help each other. Who knows? One day you too may require assistance.

“And finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their kind donations, it really meant a lot.”

For more information about how you can apply (in strictest confidence) for assistance from the IOSH Benevolent Fund or make a donation, follow this link: www.iosh.com/my-iosh/benevolent-fund/

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