JUMPING out of a plane at 12,000ft may not be everyone’s idea of a 40th birthday present, but for one employee of a leading Swindon house builder it proved to be the icing on the cake.

Liz Brooke, who works for Persimmon Homes Wessex, decided not to let her milestone birthday pass by quietly and decided to fulfil a long-held dream.

She said: “When my parents asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I must admit they did look a bit shocked when I said a tandem skydive, but it has been fantastic.”

Liz also decided to raise money for charity, with her company opting for Rainbow Trust as its charity of the year. The trust provides emotional and practical support that is individually tailored to families who have a child with a life-threatening or terminal illness.

Liz set up a Just Giving webpage with a target of raising £300 and has so far raised £345.

Liz, who went to Netheravon, near Andover, for her skydive, added: “It took about 15 minutes to climb to 12,000ft but I was not nearly as nervous as I thought I would be, even when the instructor was edging towards the door.

“Once we jumped out, the main chute deployed at about 5,000ft which took about 45 seconds to reach. I did not know if it would feel fast or slow but it was very fast and incredibly exhilarating; it is the only way I can describe it.”

To donate to The Rainbow Trust visit justgiving.com/Liz-Brooke1