Carrick College pupil’s charity skydive

Shay McCord and Zoe McCord with John Phillips from NI Hospice.  INCT 02-732-CON
Shay McCord and Zoe McCord with John Phillips from NI Hospice. INCT 02-732-CON

A Carrickfergus College student has leapt into action to raise much-needed funds for the rebuild project at the Northern Ireland Hospice.

Year 14 pupil Shay McCord and his sister Zoe completed a fundraising skydive for the local charity.

The siblings participated in the daredevil challenge in memory of their grandmother, who sadly passed away last April.

“Before she died she was admitted into the Northern Ireland Hospice, where the doctors and nurses took excellent care of her and our family,” said Shay.

“After a few months we decided we would like to give something back to the Hospice.”

Having had previous experience of skydiving, the organising of the event fell to Zoe.

The siblings completed the feat in September at the Wild Geese centre, Garvagh.

“It was an indescribable feeling, falling through the air at a speed of about 140mph,” Shay recalled.

“It was by far the best thing I have experienced.

“Overall we raised just over £2100 for the hospice and we will continue to do more for this great cause.”

A cheque for the amount raised was presented to the charity at Carrick College on Tuesday.

“January can be a depressing month so it is nice to think of people who strive to make a positive impact through their dedication to worthy causes,” a statement from the school read.

“All at Carrickfergus College would like express how proud they are of Shay, and Zoe, for their accomplishment.”

A spokesperson from the Northern Ireland Hospice added: “We are delighted that Shay McCord has chosen to support our charity through a skydive in memory of his late grandmother.

“Northern Ireland Hospice is currently in temporary accommodation at Whiteabbey Hospital while works get under way to rebuild Somerton House, which was no longer fit for purpose.

“We still need to raise £1.6 million to complete the new hospice to match the high standards of care provided by the Northern Ireland Hospice. Funds from this event will go towards the cost of equipment at the new Hospice on Somerton Road.

“This project would not be possible without the support of the local community and people like the Shay who have supported us so generously.”

Each year, the Hospice cares for over 3,000 adults with life-limiting conditions.