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SEEING stars jump out of a helicopter on TV’s I’m a Celebrity show prompted one Mansfield woman to do the same.

Val Colquhoun, of Watson Avenue, expressed her desire to make a parachute jump while watching the popular programme withher family.

So her husband tested her nerve and booked Val an experience to remember for her 50th birthday.

“When I saw all the celebrities make their jumps I just thought it looked brilliant and said I would like to do it too,” said Val. “But when my husband, William, booked it as a surprise, I couldn’t believe it.”

Val made her skydive on 19th February over Cambridgeshire, jumping at 12,000ft.

“As I was sat on the edge of the plane preparing to go I thought there is no going back now! I was so excited and nervous at the same time but my adrenaline just took over.

“At first there is no sound and it takes your breath away but then the parachute opens and slows you down. It is then that you get to enjoy the scenery and the beautiful countryside like never before.”

Since Val made her inspiring leap, her 20 year-old son Alex is tempted to sign up too.

But West Notts College student Alex is about to embark on an exciting experience of his own by joining a World Challenge expedition to Tanzania.

Alex and his family have been busy fundraising for the trip in a bid to raise the £3,000 sponsorship required.

“We have numerous events planned including a poker party for friends, wine tasting evening, Pampered Chef party and a spa day at home,” added NHS employee Val.

Alex, who also works part time as a chef, is preparing for a 15km sponsored run.

“I’m really looking forward to the adventure,” said Alex, who will be building toilets, digging wells and getting to know the locals during his African visit. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to help others and change their lives for the better.”

Alex’s mum is very proud of him for taking the initiative before he embarks on his university studies in September.

“It will be the making of him I’m sure,” she said.

l If you would like to sponsor Alex contact Val at val.colquhoun@dbh.nhs.uk.