TEEN cadet Stefan Tokes touched down after his first ever parachute jump and immediately declared: “I want to do it all over again.”
The 16-year-old, of Hylton Castle, was at Shotton Airfield in Shotton Colliery for the jump, which he did in aid of the RAF Association.
The jump has generated £425 for the worthy cause, after friends, family, pupils at Stefan’s school Castleview Enterprise Academy, and Wearside businesses chipped in and pledged sponsorship.
The generous cadet had dad Les, mum Anne, 43, and sister Robin, 13, cheering him on while he was thousands of feet up in the air.
Recalling the experience, Stefan, who is a member of Usworth 2214 Cadet Squadron in Washington, said: “Surprisingly, I wasn’t nervous, but I think it’s an understatement to say that my mam was. “She wouldn’t stop saying how nervous she was herself.
“But I got one of the best times to jump because there were almost no clouds in the sky.
“It was a one minute freefall, and five minutes of parachute jump before I got to the ground.
“It’s definitely something I want to do again, and I’d advise anyone to do it if they ever get the chance.
“It is completely different seeing the ground from so high up. It is amazing.”
Les, 56, spoke of his and his family’s pride at Stefan’s jump.
“We had every ounce of faith in him that he would do it and be fine,” said Les. “His mam was a bit nervous seeing him do it, but we are just very proud of him.
“Stefan’s looking forward to doing another one now, and I’m sure he will in future.”
He will now hand over hundreds of pounds in donations to the RAF Association, which helps serving and ex-RAF personnel as well as their families with welfare support.
The organisation receives no Government contributions, and is completely funded by its members, and through donations from the general public and from businesses.
Stefan added: “I’d like to say thanks to all of the people who sponsored me as well, it’s much appreciated.”
For more on the RAF Association, go to www.rafa.org.uk.